"If wishes were horses then beggars would ride." English Proverb.
There are many things in this world I wish I could change. Some much more important and philanthropic than others. I wish there was an end to hunger. I wish there weren't any wars. I wish that all diseases have been eradicated from our planet, especially as I sit here with a stuffy nose and a sore throat.
Then there are the common wishes of everyone I know. I wish I was beautiful. I wish I was thin. I wish I was taller. I wish I had more money. Surprisingly enough, everyone wishes for more money. Even those who seem to have enough for 30 lifetimes, need more. I wonder what they plan to do with all that money? Albert Pujols will need to live to 1000 to use up all the money he is making playing baseball. Do you really want to live to 1000? Not I. Imagine the horror of time and time again watching all your friends and family die. But maybe if he could live to 1000, he could have everyone around him live to 1000 too. He could have a 950 year old son. He could also have a 5-year-old son. **SHUDDER**
I often hear people say "I wish I was...." and insert a name. I wish I was president. I wish I was Peyton Manning. I wish I was Bruce Springsteen. I wish I was a supermodel. Mostly people are looking at the fame and fortune that goes along with that person's position in society. The prestige, the power, the popularity are all an enticing aphrodisiac ready to be claimed without the years of patience, persistence and practice needed to accomplish such achievement. (And yes, I did watch Mr. Popper's Penguins recently if you were wondering.)
Yet despite all this, today I decided that I wished I was AJ Burnett. Yes, that AJ Burnett. The dismal #2 starting pitcher for the Yankees. He has a record of 34-35 vs. the Yankees with a 4.79 ERA. Wow, those are really dismal stats. The guy who melts down when pressure is applied. Like that time in chemistry class where the teacher makes a beaker of water boil at room temperature by changing the pressure. He just totally decomposes.
Frankly, I have to believe that there are many times that even AJ Burnett doesn't want to be AJ Burnett. Yet today, on AJ's 35th Birthday, I want to be him. I envy AJ being AJ.
In honor of AJ's birthday, I see many people commenting on twitter, and even Facebook, on their hopes and aspirations for AJ this season. Over and over again, I am reading the same words, "I have faith in you AJ".
You have faith in AJ? Seriously people. You trust this guy? I worry about him hurting others pie-ing them during walk off celebrations, never mind getting out of a self-made bases loaded jam. I have absolutely no faith at all in him in those situations. I have more faith that the Easter Bunny is gonna sneak into my house and leave Lindt chocolate under my Christmas Tree while Santa Claus leaves a Lexus with the huge bow on the roof in the driveway next to the pile of money the tooth fairy brought me.
Honestly, I'm not AJ's mother! (Although in a sick sense I am kinda old enough to be his mother if I gave birth to him in 7th grade like some of the students I see are doing. ) I don't have that unwavering faith, that unconditional love and belief that everything you do is wonderful and destined for greatness that only a mother can see. You remember the fuss she made when you came from kindergarten with your hand print in clay, with a ribbon tied around the top as a Mother's Day gift. You would think you had just scaled Kilimanjaro while simultaneously solving world hunger and curing cancer and with your spare time on the summit, you negotiated permanent peace in the Middle East. I do that with my kids now too. We want our kids to feel important, to feel loved, to feel validated. We want them to know they can do anything, go anywhere, be anyone they want. And what a beautiful concept.
Except, it isn't really true.
Everyone can't be president. You need connections to even start your political career. Those who put their names on the ballot trying to make things better without being sponsored by the "correct" people soon find themselves in the single digit of vote tallies.
Everyone can't be a supermodel. You really need the right genetics to be stunningly beautiful, amazingly tall and the ability to not eat. Something every American will tell you is very difficult to do. Height alone is based on a minimum of 3 alleles, you would need them all set to tall to topple 5'10".
Everyone can't be a starting pitcher for the NYY. Many have tried, few have made it. Its more than just skills. It's the ability to deal with us, the fans, and the press, and the realities of NY. Yet fans keep repeating some mantra of "I believe in AJ". I don't have that unwavering faith in AJ, that unconditional love and belief that everything he does is wonderful and destined for greatness. I cringe every time he climbs the mound. I pray he doesn't pitch any games I have tickets to. I am not his mother! I don't have to have unconditional belief in him. I can demand proof he is good, just like a voters picking a candidate for president. And you know what, AJ hasn't given me any reason to have faith in a long time.
Yet miraculously enough, AJ still has his legions of fans who truly believe in him. And it makes me wonder, how has he pulled this off? I don't have this kind of faith in myself, nevermind others. My oldest daughter reminded me 5 times last night to wash her blue and white striped sweater for school today. Ye of little faith, my Faith. (My oldest daughter's name is Faith, yes that does get confusing sometimes, especially at church). Faith had little faith that I would get her the special sweater on time, yet I've never missed a clothing deadline! My youngest, Chloe, is constantly adding basic supplies like chocolate milk, dancing chicken nuggets and whipped cream to the shopping list. I buy these things every week, yet Chloe doesn't have faith that I will buy them again. I guess she lives in fear of a house without whipped cream. Horrors.
I pick up my husband's shirts from the dry cleaners every week, I pay the mortgage, I take the kids to dentist appointments, I do the laundry, I do all the banking. I am a model of consistency. My house is a totally hoarders free environment. Yet I am asked, reminded or questioned. "Mom, did you buy...", "Did you get my shirts from the cleaner?" "Do we have markers for my science project?". At work, I see numerous students each week at their homes. I travel throughout the city, prepare meaningful lessons and teach one on one. Yet I am still asked "Did you submit your time sheets?" I want to sarcastically reply, "No, I decided to work for free from now on." Who actually forgets to submit their time sheets? There is such an undeserving lack of faith of me.
AJ Burnett is not a model of consistency, yet we all "believe in AJ". I'm thinking, am I drinking the wrong water that I don't feel this faith? And how did he earn this faith, while I, Mrs. model of consistency, have gotten none?
I wonder what it is like to have others have such faith in you? To have the undying devotion of people you have never met, who swear their allegiance to you and your performance, without a scrap of evidence that you will actually follow through! Maybe AJ has missed his true calling. Pitching doesn't seem to be a realistic career goal right now, but faith healer or religious savior might work out. I could see AJ as a charismatic preacher leading a mega church of believers who all send him 15% of their salary or government checks. He could be richer than Pujols. AJ could be a cult leader. He already seems to have his believing disciples.
I only wish people had that kind of faith in me. That kind of over the top unwavering faith, that unconditional love and belief that everything I do is wonderful and destined for greatness. How glorious that would be. For just one day, to live where there is so much belief in my ability to do anything I dream of.
I wonder if I would enjoy this glorious ride or absolutely hate the undeserving love and affection. I just wish I had the chance to find out.
But I live in the real world. I just want to ride to #28.