I spent FAR too long yesterday writing a bedtime story about Jeremy Lin. I couldn't help it! As a lapsed Knicks fan and a sucker for narrative, I'm as susceptible—if not more so—to linsanity as the next person. It started out so well, too: "Once upon a time there was a sad basketball team in a strange place called New York City."
But I didn't post it. Here's the problem—and here's the problem with life, which also happens to be the problem with the books Chestnut is reading now (Oooh, a segue!): I don't know how it will end. Which means I can't make any promises that it will end well.
It used to be so simple! Chestnut would read a book, and then tension would happen. She would worry: will the pony find its way home? Will the child find its mom? Will everything be OK? And I could always say "Everything will be OK. Honey, it's a book for little kids, I promise you that they will make sure that nothing horrible happens."
Except then people get older and for the first time she read a book and said, "I'm worried she won't win the big competition!" And like an idiot I said, "Honey, of course she will…." Except she didn't. It wasn't a book for little kids anymore, it was more complicated and nuanced and…realistic.
All of which reminds me of my, er, distaste for reality.
I know, I know—life isn't always going to end well. Things will happen that are difficult. People won't always win their big competitions, they won't always find their way home, they won't always find their moms. But those truths? They are painful.
As for Jeremy Lin? While I can't necessarily say "and they all lived happily ever after," I try to remind myself that it's just a game. And that he's already done amazing things. And I can remind myself, too, that this is the reason watching sports is so gratifying: it's the one thing on television where you really don't know how it will end. And that's great. Even if it is sometimes a little painful.