The Norman Transcript

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January 2, 2013

Making a boy’s dream gift a reality

NORMAN — In 1987, I decided to marry an older woman with two kids. I know, I know: What was I thinking. Well, anyway, our first Christmas holds one of the fondest memories I have of those early years.

Let’s just say we were broke. Actually, that’s understating the situation. We were flat broke. You see, I was working two part-time jobs and my wife, Becky, had two full-time jobs. I’m counting cooking, maintaining the house and running the kids everywhere until you drop as a full-time job. That’s probably also understating the situation. It looked like Christmas was going to be pretty lean in terms of gifts for our immediate family.

Our daughter, Timisha, was going to be Becky’s responsibility, and that was fine with me. I figured clothes, makeup, music and money would be all teenage girls wanted. I just wasn’t ready for the dollar amounts. Remember, I didn’t know much about kids but was learning quickly. Becky just reminded me that when you’re a young, pretty teenage girl with red hair, you have special needs.

“You just worry about Joey,” she said.

Fine. I can do this. He’s a guy, so I’ll just ask him what he wants. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t even have to ask. Joey and all his friends played video games, you see, and they played them into the ground.

We could hardly pass a machine somewhere that Joey didn’t have the scouting report on. If you had a question about math or history for Joey, he might have trouble. But if you needed to know a special code, killer moves or what items to pick up or what weapons to buy in a video game, he was an outstanding resource.

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