THIS is a picture of my boys at high school fall ball practice tonight. The weather is a perfect 65 degrees, its dry, cool, and smells like fall as the sun starts to dip down. I brought my stick to throw around a little wall ball while I waited for practice to be over, but found myself distracted often, to turn and watch my boys as they played a small sided drill around the goal. It’s not been the greatest day, my mood was pretty low when I arrived – one of the reasons I grabbed the stick for some wall ball.
Yet…in this moment I feel only one thing.
My heart is full. Full in a way that is hard to describe, its content, at peace, joyful, and proud. THIS. This moment is one of the things I will remember as a parent as my favorite, it’s one of the moments in my life as a whole that I will remember as a favorite and one that I know all too well is not going to last. There’s just nothing else like it.
I don’t care if they win a lot, play a ton in a close game, get any awards or lacrosse scholarships. None of those things are bringing me any of the joy I feel right now watching them play, have fun and be kids at practice, watching them succeed, fail, try again, learn, shout, laugh, reach, encourage others, be stretched, build friendships, build memories, be without huge amount of pressure or stress and completely in the moment.
If only I could bottle it and save it for always. If only we could always feel THIS and only THIS when we share a field with our kids. The pressure we see in our kids sports is put there by the adults that stand around the outside of the field, the adult sitting shoulder to shoulder with us in the stands, and the one over there on the other side wearing a different colored sweatshirt. Its fueled by us, it’s man-made, destructive, poisonous, attached to our own baggage and dreams, ego, fears, needs, vulnerabilities, and so unnecessary.
When we lose focus, even for a moment, on what’s important about our kids in sports we miss THIS.
and its so. very. short.