[What follows is a continuation of the post from yesterday.]
The following week when I arrived at John's house to pick him up for an early morning game, he came to the door to inform me he didn't want to play. When I asked why, he told me that a cousin was in town and he didn't want to leave him at the house to go to the game. I encouraged him to invite the cousin to come along and help us out in the dugout. On the way to the park John leaned over and thanked me for allowing his guest to join us for the game.
"Coach, I was afraid to leave him at the house. I was afraid if the police came they would arrest him for 'selling' because he is fifteen," John explained. Talk about a heightened sense of personal responsibility: my little twelve-year-old buddy feeling the pressing need to care for his 15-year-old cousin. This is simply John's reality.
John lives at a frightening intersection in our community. From where he stays, not only can John see the most important issues facing our city; he lives with a number of them. Just click down John's list with me for a reality check.
[Return tomorrow for John's "reality list."]