As a young kid growing up in Brooklyn, New York I had many dreams and would usually find myself dreaming of things that connected me with my boyhood interests. Since I enjoyed sports as a kid I dreamed a lot about baseball and my heroes like Roberto Clemente, Willy Mays, Henry Aaron and Tom Seaver. I dreamed I could run the bases like Roberto Clemente after lining a single into the outfield. I dreamed I could make spectacular catches in the outfield like Willy Mays. I dreamed I could hit mighty home runs like Henry Aaron (Hammerin’ Hank) and I dreamed I could strikeout the best hitters of the game like Tom Seaver. It was a fun time for me and I lived to watch baseball and become a Met fan and a baseball fan as I loved ballplayers on other teams as well. I had a childhood innocence that enabled me to dream and strive to do my best as I was a well behaved and impressionable kid.
As I grew my love for the game grew as well but my dreams of playing major league baseball were tempered with reality so I focused on more practical dreams as I knew I would not be the next Pete Rose but my enthusiasm was good and I learned to dream from my parents.
For me 1969 was an exciting year also because the challenge our late president John F Kennedy promised for our country during his short term in office to launch an astronaut to the moon and safely return him back was realized on July 20th 1969 when Neil Armstrong made his first steps on the moon and his famous quote “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” As I viewed this with my family in our living room it was an amazing thing to witness and it made me realize all the efforts our country made based on the words of a revered president who died so tragically. It propelled my dreams to new heights and made me realize there should be no limits to what you can dream and hope to achieve in life.
I had many dreams throughout my life and had learned that not all we dream is viable but we should still dream and never stop dreaming. I learned this from my parents and also teach this to my son. I tell Matthew that he should always dream and never let anyone discourage him from his dreams as our dreams are very important and our dreams keep us young and always thinking in a positive way. We always should realize that we can achieve great things and always should be optimistic about all we attempt. Matthew needs special encouragement and prompting and he has dreams that are pretty special. Matthew has a good heart and his dreams center around helping others and making the world a better place. He has very noble ideas and he has a true spirit of giving and is very empathetic. Our son is very special and I enjoy talking with him about his dreams and hopes and I always encourage him and will always encourage him because I love him and want him to do his best in whatever he chooses in his life to do and Maria and I will be there for him along the way.
So what I learned as a kid from my parents, my teachers, my experiences and my dreams I pass on to my son and I learn from him and hopefully he learns something beneficial from me that will help him as he grows. Dreams are wonderful and they are what makes our lives have meaning and gives us hope.
Edward D. Iannielli III