I can still remember the way the ballpark looked the first time I played under the lights. I was a 6-year-old short-stop for the Reds. We finished the regular season undefeated and played the Tigers in the championship game. I remember taking the field with a mouth-full of Big League Chew and bright lights shining down on us and I remember winning. I remember my dad’s face when he showed me the article the next morning in the sports page. I remember seeing my name in print. To this day, my Dad keeps that newspaper clipping, perched next to the homerun balls I accumulated over the years.
He was at every game.
He was engaged when he came home after work.
He was selfless with his free-time.
And most of all, he was proud of me.
I was recently looking at some old pictures I had taken of my kids. I realized that my kids weren’t getting all of me. They got some of me, but not all of me. I resolved that whenever my kids ask me to do something with them, no matter what it is or how tired or busy I am, I would say yes. Yes, let’s go throw the baseball in the front yard. Yes, let’s walk down to the creek so you can get wet and muddy. My Dad taught me to be present.