The best lie my dad ever told me growing up was the one he told on a whim to cheer me up.
My family had just moved, something we did a lot in my early years, and I was feeling pretty down about starting over at a new school and let’s be honest probably missing the teacher I had a huge crush on in second grade.
Trying to cheer me up, my dad called me into his office with news of a letter he had received from Voorhees Soccer Association about the soccer team I would be joining that fall.
“Dear parents of Matthew Ralph,” my dad read out loud.
From there about the only honest word that came out of my dad’s mouth was the name of the team.
I get that it was the ‘80s, but man what a terrible name that was for a soccer team.
Even as a rising third grader I knew enough to hate everything about the name. I probably even told my dad as much. This team, like everything about Gibbsboro in my mind at the time, was stupid and I hated it already.
My dad continued: “The Blast are coming off an undefeated championship season and they are the favorites to win the league again this year, especially with the addition of their new halfback, a new arrival from Mount Laurel.”
By this point I knew what my dad was doing.
While my teenage years were a bit of a case study in things you shouldn’t share with your teenager and letters home from school you shouldn’t help your son hide from your wife, my dad always knew the right things to say when I was a kid. Whether it was coming directly from him or from my favorite plush squirrel named Joey, no one could cheer me up like my dad could in those days.
I laughed it off and told him he was crazy. No way was a team named the Blast going to amount to anything.
Fast forward to four months later in Voorhees.
The Blast were celebrating an undefeated season and I was hoisting the only real trophy I would ever win in my soccer career. My dad had spoken it into existence and while it’s never a good idea to peak at anything before your 10th birthday that was definitely the peak of my youth soccer career.