Do you see his head?”
“I don’t see his head.”
“Now, do you see his head?”
No, you did not miss the message where I tell you we are expecting. We ain’t!
My family and I were at Bounce U. and SJ, my younger son, had struggled and ultimately made it to the top of a particularly challenging web-climber. Once he got to the top of the web-climber, he struggled over to the slide and came down. I had cringed when I saw him struggling to reach the top of the web-climber. The employee at Bounce U. had to help him and the other kids were growing impatient.
However, when SJ got to the slide, he had a big grin on his face. It was met by the smiles my wife and I had. When he reached the bottom of the slide, he jumped back up, whooped, and ran back over for another turn. As SJ ran by, I felt his head, and he was sweating from his earlier effort. I was thrilled by his determination.
BR and I were in a bouncer together. It had a basketball hoop and different size balls. Instead of shooting, BR and I ended up throwing the balls at each other. Well, we did until I finally tackled BR. We were play fighting and laughing.
My family and I were having a great time. Yet, part of me was sad.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning – sunny, light wind, and 65 degrees. If you inhaled deep enough, you could smell the smells of baseball. The mowed grass, rawhide baseball, and the wood of a bat.
When I imagined being a father, it was always boys who perpetuated my dream. After all, I am one of 4 boys, and I have 6 nephews and only two nieces. In fact, when I called my oldest brother to tell him my wife had a boy, he said, “Yeah, I know.” He figured it was a foregone conclusion.
In my imagination, my son and I were always doing something athletic whether it was baseball, basketball, football, etc. We would toss the ball back and forth and bond at the same time. Maybe, I would coach his little league team or simply offer helpful tips on how to improve. I would fight the urge to be an over involved parent at his games. Either way, I would revel in his success and support him during the more challenging times.
I never even considered that my children would not enjoy playing sports. Neither of my boys is especially athletic or overly interested. Yes, they will periodically, after prodding, play sports. However, they quickly tire of it. When they periodically want to play sports, I am happy to join them. If they ask for instruction, I give it. When they sit inside on a beautiful day or refuse to accept assistance, I try to shut my mouth and bite my lip. I have learned not to push. I’m not a Tiger Dad.
My boys don’t love playing sports, and I have to be okay with that. However, it makes me a little sad. Some might say my reaction is wrong, and they may be right. Yet, I had a vision, and I wish it had come true.