I’m Big Daddy and I write about my thirteen year old autistic son, Griffin. Actually, I write about acceptance, gratitude and finding humor within adversity. But it’s funny stories about living with Griffin that serve as my jumping off point.
They call me Big Daddy for a reason. I’m big. Although I am large and ultra masculine, I am not a big “sports” guy. I don’t play them because, well, I’ve always been horrible at them and now, as I close in on 300 pounds, competitive eating is probably my last shot at greatness.
I don’t follow sports on TV either. This is most likely because I grew up being a Jets, Mets, and Knicks fan. Other than a brief moment in October of 1986, this was pure, unadulterated, torture. So, sometime around 1990, I quit spectator sports as well.
Except for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). I watch the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce – you name it. If there is a chance someone’s head is going to be split open, I’m there. I think MMA is sporting at its best. Hand to hand combat without a whole lot of stupid rules or silly stuff like, say, teamwork.
Griffin, not surprisingly has zero interest in all sports. In fact, if it involves moving or any physical exertion more strenuous than clicking a mouse, Griffin wants nothing to do with it. Fine by me.
However, last holiday season, Griffin’s Hanukkah and Christmas (yeah we celebrate both) lists included toy “wrestlers”. Not quite MMA, but close enough. For a brief moment I imagined us having conversation about upcoming fights instead of elevators, the Weather Channel and Wilford Brimley.
I made sure he got all the action figures for all my favorite fighters. I did a lot of grunting, scratching, and spitting when I filled my cart with my tattooed idols.
But true to form, instead of handicapping the nest PPV event, now I get to hear Chuck “The Ice Man” Liddell talk endlessly with George St. Pierre about the weather in Indiana (we live in Florida) and Brock Lesner discuss elevator videos with Clay Guida.
Hey, it’s imaginative play, right? Even if they aren’t in the same weight divisions.