How to Be Zoran at Five

Fall deeply & unrestrained into every little joy:
the right cereal in the cupboard
a spontaneous trip to Yaya's
or hand-me-down basketball shoes from your “little” cousin Tre
that are exactly what you need
for the entrance
(which you’ve practiced again and again and again)
onto your living room/basketball court.
Spend hours getting your moves right
while your dad announces you and the NBA teammates
you pretend to practice right alongside.

And survive flashes of anger
that put feet through doors
and tiny fist-shaped dents on walls 
that smash toys when they don’t seem to function right
or brothers when they don’t follow the plan you had in mind.

Live intensely. Love fiercely. React immediately.
Always fueled by jelly sandwiches and cold cereal.
No vegetables. At all. Ever.

On days you don’t want to go to Headstart, run away. Fast.
Make your mom sprint around the house,
the yard (and sometimes the field)
to catch you while the bus waits in your driveway.
Ask when you FINALLY get a day off
before heading out to your second day of kindergarten.

Discover your own secret ingredients for happiness:
sports. friends. music.
Need all three nearly constantly.
Especially when you need to deal with almost unbearable small annoyances:
    crooked toe seams on your socks
    clothes that don’t fit or hang just so 
    people talking when you’re trying to speak
    commotion when you need calm.

Make up for being half the size of your peers
with a double dose of confidence.
Take charge.
Lead naturally and effortlessly
by giving others something exciting to be a part of.

Practice victory chest bumps
and breakdancing and fighting as sport.
But remain equally intense in hours and hours of calm repetition:
    Rebound, dribble, shoot. Rebound, dribble, shoot.
    Or the Green Day playlist on repeat on the iPod,
    eyes a few inches away from the tiny screen,
    singing along, the rest of the world faint in the background.

Appreciate order.
     Shoes lines up neatly.
    A backpack on it’s hook.
Be calmed by structures that work.

And then roll yourself into a giant blanket burrito
when you’re ready to sleep--
every inch, head to toe, covered.
Sleep soundly for a few hours
recharging for the next action-packed day.

 love this little guy... can't believe he's already six

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