Rocky, a sixth-grader at Metro Catholic School, lives with his mom, his 16-year-old brother and his 20-year-old sister in Cleveland His father moved to Texas after his parents’ divorce two years ago, but the two keep in touch over social media and weekly phone calls. When Rocky’s not playing kickball with his brother in the backyard, he’s singing in the school choir or acting onstage.
My best days were when I went into Cub Scouts with my dad. I was chosen for lots of things and there’s camping. We learned how to survive in the wilderness and did some community services. There’s the main club where they choose one little leader. First, it goes from tiger, wolf and bear, and those three groups chose me to be their little leader. They were all my friends and they listened to me. They made me happy just from listening to me and actually not arguing with me. A leader needs to be able to not yell at people and help people out. If you don’t help your pack or your group, they’re not going to listen to you.
I don’t want a friend that’s actually bad. There are lots of times when we’re playing outside in the summer and this kid will start trying to make an argument with me. He’ll start out by saying, "I suck," and stuff. I’ll say, “Please stop,” and he’ll get up in my face. It does make me feel angry, but I’ll still try to control it. I’ll just say, “Please, step away from me. I don’t want to talk to you.” I’m just not a fighting person.
I don’t really like people who judge other people. I worry about people being judgmental about me because I am kind of overweight. I just don’t want people to notice that. I kind of recently got over that because I normally wear a sweater to hold it in, but I lost my sweater so I just decided to go with the shirt. It still showed and no one actually said anything about it. It makes me feel happy because I don’t have to hold anything in. — as told to James Bigley II
[Editor’s Note: This blog series is an extension of the “A Boy’s Life” feature in Cleveland Magazine’s March issue. For all these stories, click on the “A Boy's Life” tag.]