“Fly high son, because the sky is the limit”
Those of you that have never played sports or don’t have children that play sports will probably never be able to relate to this post. As children grow up, you watch them in their daily lives not fully realizing how fast time truly passes you by. One day you look and it seems like in the blink of an eye, they are young adults. You are with them day in and day out, so you are somewhat blinded to how fast they are actually growing up. I am sure we all find ourselves strolling down memory lane at times and tonight was one of those nights for me. I got a message from a friend inquiring on how our oldest son, Dylan, was doing. A simple 3 word text that evoked a pile of emotion in me.
For those of you that don’t know, Dylan has played baseball since he could walk. Most of his life and ours has been consumed by a sport that created many generations of extended families and a multitude of friendships. I played football, so the whole baseball thing was somewhat new to me in the beginning, but I learned to love everything about America’s greatest game. We went from a plastic ball and bat in the back yard to All Star teams to Division champions in school. What a roller coaster ride of emotions we have been on in the last ten years; from arguing with umpires on bad calls to climbing fences on big plays in jubilation. The many practices during the weeknights and the many weekends spent in the blistering sun playing tournaments.
The game itself is so much bigger than the practical lessons that are learned on the field. Through all the hard work, children earn the fruits of their labor by celebrating victories and defeat. I really believe in order to understand how sweet the taste of victory is, you need to get knocked down a couple times. Children are taught the value of teamwork, dedication, social skills, success, failure, sportsmanship, work ethic, teamwork, and the desire to never give up even when you feel defeated. You do your absolute best by giving all of yourself, keeping your eye on the ball and always swinging hard in case you hit it. You occasionally make a sacrifice play for another player to benefit your team focusing on the greater good. You realize the inherent power of functioning as a team, like a well-oiled machine, built by your coaches and parents. Whatever you do, you NEVER EVER give up because as long as there’s time on the clock, there is always a chance.
Recently Dylan decided after entering high school that he no longer wanted to play baseball. He stated he had lost his desire to play; mostly due to other interests. It was a hard decision for us to accept, but ultimately it was his decision to make. It was most definitely an emotional decision for us as parents, but we knew we had to listen and be supportive of his choice. As a new high school student, he was already academically driven in all honors classes, an AG program, student government, and a deep passion for playing on the drum line in marching band. How could we say no? We raised Dylan in a way that taught him “how” to think, not “what” to think. He made the decision to give up baseball on his own terms and as parents, we supported. As we close this chapter of our life, we are welcoming the new ones that come ahead. Baseball will always live forever in us, but this multi-talented young man truly has the world at his fingertips. A drum player, singer, preacher, piano player, AG student, SGA member, etc. Just as you mentioned that frog in your first sermon, we want you to always jump as high as you can. We are so very thankful for all the friendships along the way and wish nothing but the best to all the players, coaches, and parents. This may be my last time writing about this game, but I will never forget you.