MY WORLD

My father used to ask “Bruce, when I get old and can’t see anymore, will you read me the sports section?” “Sure,” I’d respond and he’d deal another hand. The good news was my Dad never went blind; the bad news—he died young.

Which leads me, in an off/course way to today. Sitting in Cleveland, Ohio, facing a weekend ripe for family, my kids are gone—each of them the legal resident of another state. (Trust me, I’ve checked driver’s licenses).

“The children don’t stay—they just don’t stay.” It’s a lament heard often ‘round here, and ‘tis true. When school’s done so are the kids. They just don’t stay!

Stuart’s fled. As did Walt’s and half of Art’s. Bonnie and Bob have four between them— three/quarters gone. And Alan’s—heck! They never even got here. I won’t speak for other parents, but me? I’ve got blood on my hands. How much of our town, REALLY, did I expose them to? Did I not drop the ball?

Consider:

Cleveland, Ohio spreads thirty-plus miles across the wondrous south shore of Lake Erie. It’s a town of interweaving ethnicities, a mix of old and new, staid and eclectic, traditional and chic. There is everything you’d desire and more. If you look.

I wanted no more than I had. For this my kids lost out and today, I suffer.

Growing up on the east side we rarely went west. Oh, the stadium (in a way); it stretched from East 9th to West 3rd. . And then there was the time Wieder had us drive to Cudell Recreation for a basketball tournament. Maxing out as we crossed the Cuyahoga River, did we not feel like Lewis and Clark?

Our landscape was so narrow then, (as mine remains). Indeed, have I not lived my entire life within two square miles?

But Cleveland? It was and is “The Best Location In The Nation”.

Cleveland’s Orchestra performs globally. Did we ever go there?

Had Michael at a Browns’ playoff game in bitter cold, but The Art Museum? Or the Science Center? Sat courtside for the Cavs, but never once walked Tremont and maybe twice strolled the zoo.

Come to think of it, we weren’t much better with the girls. Wait! There was Gymnastics World on Tuesdays. (Schlepping west, Jamie sat shotgun—always, and inevitably, swinging south on 77, minutes from Brecksville, Stacy would fall asleep. Always.)

Cleveland is a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked. The Emerald Necklace of Metroparks, the nature preserves that boasted green space before it was fashionable….the beautiful churches, synagogues, museums, libraries…

The real Rock Hall Of Fame. The Theater District.

I know. I know. The kids are gone—the toothpaste is out of the tube.
Or is it? One thing about children, though: they tend to HAVE children.

Maybe it’s not too late! Maybe I’ll get the chance….perhaps we all will…

To… be savvy, and with grandkids in tow uncover the jewel, walk a few miles, risk a few mosquito bites, and remember why I stayed.

At home.

               “My world is our world
               And this world is your world
               And your world is my world
               And my world is your world is mine.”

                                  The BeeGees

3 Responses to “MY WORLD”

  1. Christine says:

    Bruce – Your writing is beautiful. Why are you practicing law?

    love,
    Your savvy supporter and friend of Stacy – Christine

  2. Stuart says:

    joakim noah likes this!

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