He didn’t even need to be the one playing. He was just as interested in standing behind you barking out orders and instructions until you made the final level. It was during some of those games we played that I realized we were bonding and just how unselfish he was. He would even not try his best against me sometimes when we played face to face.
But, anyway, back to the problem. We didn’t have anything at home for Joey to play. Many of the kids he ran around with did, so he was very familiar with some of the home systems at the time. Nintendo was the new deal, and they were everywhere except our house. Joey wanted one so bad, he didn’t hint, just begged. The cost was very high for us at the time and we had to say no. Needless to say he was crushed.
We were having trouble paying for the gifts we had, and I did not want him to get his hopes up even for a second. Becky and I were in complete agreement on not getting him the $129 machine. But then something happened.
Two days before Christmas, Becky and I were up late at night looking at the Christmas tree and wondering about how disappointed Joey would be when he got clothes, a model and a record album. I couldn’t face him on Christmas morning.
I guess when you’re a kid and you want something so bad and have so much hope, the worst thing that can happen is to have your hopes dashed. These were just presents we were talking about, but that night, they came to symbolize so much more to me. I was either going to play it safe or take risks to make someone in my family happy.