Not a material boy

Posted by on November 7, 2005

Awhile back, we went to the birthday party of one of Johnny’s friends. This kid had a nice plastic basketball hoop with a small basketball that was just the right size for Johnny, and Johnny had a great time playing with it… Since Johnny loves everything that involves a ball (basketball, baseball, football, you name it), I started thinking that it would be nice to buy him a basketball set so he could start building the skills he’ll need to play the sports he’s so excited about.

About a year ago, Johnny wanted to play basketball so I took a wire coat hanger, bent it into a hoop, and hung it on the clothes hamper in Eleanor’s and my bedroom. That was OK for a toddler, but it’s not really going to teach Johnny about basketball. So I decided that it might be time to get him a kid-sized basketball hoop.

When I mentioned it to Johnny, I expected him to be excited. “Johnny, we’re thinking about buying you an outside basketball hoop like your friend Hayden has so we can play basketball!” His reply surprised me.

Johnny said, “We don’t need one, Dad. We already have an inside basketball hoop!”

I wasn’t sure how to feel. It was wonderful that my son was happy with what he had. I was proud, but at the same time part of me still felt like there was something sad about a boy being satisfied with a coat hanger basketball hoop.

I think the sad feeling comes from part of me that still believes the lie that we need a bunch of stuff to be happy and that I’m not an adequate father and provider unless my son can have all those things.

Here’s a picture of Johnny playing on his “indoor basketball court.”

Johnny playing hamper-and-hanger basketball

Johnny’s a good kid.

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