A Father and Son Past Time
On this father’s day, I find myself reflecting on the most influential role model in my life and the great past time that he and I shared together. Like many youths, I had aspirations of playing major league baseball, a train that I rode as far as I could before the harsh realization that I was not going to be the next Gary Carter or Roberto Alomar. My father was there every step of the way doing everything in his power to see me succeed and achieve my aspirations of major league grandeur.
Both my parents were there through thick and thin supporting my outlandish dreams with moral and financial support. I can still hear them telling me to have a backup plan in case the major leagues didn’t pan out, but naively I knew they would. My father spent countless hours coaching my house league teams from T-Ball all the way up until it was time for me to take my baseball endeavours out of town. My dad had no formal baseball training or extensive history playing the sport but dived right in from day one learning as he went.
My father’s work ethic was always second to none, never missing a day of work and doing whatever it took to provide for his family and make sure my brother and I did not go without. He is the hardest working person I have ever met and is the single reason I take such great pride in my work ethic, subconsciously not wanting to disappoint him.
He spent his life working shift work in various gold mines, which usually meant long hours in not the most desirable conditions, if you have ever had the chance to tour a mine. Regardless of that, he was always there, without a doubt with glove in hand for a round of catch in the back yard. The game of catch would usually last until I fired one too many baseballs off his shins trying to perfect some secret pitch or turn an Alomar influenced double play.
While growing up caught in the moment you don’t realize the sacrifices your father made until you have children of your own and the roles are reversed. Now, I am the father coaching my oldest daughter in the game I once shared with my dad. The game that united my father and I now unites me with my daughter.
As she sets goals for herself, I hope and pray that I can be half the man that my father was and still is for me.