Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It seems like only yesterday I was dropping my son off at college for the first time. That was a very emotional time and in three weeks, my wife and I will see another chapter of our life come to an end. That will be much harder to cope with.
Baseball and softball have been part of our lives since the kids were three...both playing tee-ball. Back then I couldn't wait for baseball and softball season to start and neither could our kids. 19 years later, I still can't wait to watch a game, but after his last game on May 27th, I will more than likely never see him play at that level again. There's a slight chance he will try to hang on with an independent league, but he is already moving on to the next segment of his life and is a few hours short of getting his degree and wants to spend the summer finishing out school.
He talked to us a few weeks ago at a road game at dinner and said that his baseball career didn't pan out as he had hoped, but my wife and I totally disagreed with that. We told him that we could not be more proud of him. He has done what 99% of boys that have ever picked up a baseball bat never had a chance to do. He started close to every game for three out of his four years at a D-I school in a top conference and at a great academic school. How cool is that?
He also will get his official degree in the fall. Most players take 5 full years to graduate because of the rigorous baseball schedule and limited units that can be taken in the fall and spring due to practices and games. He will have done it in less time. To me, that is a victory in of itself.
Nevertheless, it will be tough going out on the field for senior day listening to the announcer read his stats, congratulate him on his contributions to the team and knowing that in the next 9 innings, it will all come to an end at his home field...our favorite place to go anywhere in this big world we have traveled.
The saving grace for us is that we have a daughter that plays college softball...but next year, her senior year, at this time, we will be having the same emotions..."What the heck are we going to do now?"
Oh, we will figure it out...but the memories of traveling to odd, surprise hotels we found on HotWire, the jubilation of his many outstanding defensive plays, multiple hit days and that up and down feeling of success and failure in the same weekend series week after week, will be gone. Many of you have gone through those same feelings.
If your son or daughter is still playing....savor it...embrace it and go to every game you can...because when it's over, at least you have those memories indelibly etched in your mind that "I was there too" that you can share with your kids forever...