My five-year-old son is a sports-fanatic. His primary sport is and probably always will be ice hockey. Since he was two years old, I have been taking him on the 160-mile round trip journey to San Jose, the location of our nearest ice rink, once and sometimes twice a week. As a result of that commitment, he has missed out on being able to participate in other sports that can be enjoyed locally such as basketball and lacrosse. However, that did not stop him from playing every imaginable sport in our backyard.
One sport dear to his heart is baseball. Although I often will play catch with him or work on his hitting, he always insists on “playing a real game.” He doesn’t accept my protest that it is very difficult to play baseball with only two people. He often begs my wife and me to take him to an empty baseball diamond so he can run the bases and pretend to play important games. When we realized that a break in his hockey schedule would allow him to sign up for tee-ball, we jumped at the opportunity.
My son recently played in his first career tee-ball game. Hitting in the “clean-up” position, which meant that under the tee-ball rules he’d be able to run as many bases as possible rather than being limited to one base per hit, on his first swing he struck and grand slam! As he rounded third base, I could see his huge smile and the sheer joy on his face. It was one of my proudest and happiest moments as a parent. I was witnessing a “dream” come true.
After so many backyard sessions of running the bases against imaginary teams, he was doing it “for real” this time. He jumped on home plate with emphasis, removed his batting helmet, stretched out his arms in celebration, and ran back along the third base line to the dugout cheering and screaming. He had two more at-bats during the game and, of course, he hit two more grand slams! Three for three, three homeruns, and 12 RBI – a debut set of stats with which even Ted Williams would be impressed!
It is amazing how one ephemeral moment can serve as a lasting reward. As my son was rounding third base, I thought of how all of the planning, organizing, travel, and expenses that go into our support of his sports passions are being realized in an instant. Sometimes preparation can be discouraging. It is easy to lose sight of the end goal. On a day when I plan to take my son up to San Jose for his hockey game I sometimes think to myself, “Am I really going to drive all the way up there again? How do I have the time to do that?” But when I’m watching him skate or round the bases, I’m reminded of why my wife and I devote so much time and energy into his pursuits.
Planning in any context can be difficult and frustrating at times. Procrastination can be tempting. However, the reward is usually well-worth the effort.
KRASA LAW, Inc. is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, California and Kyle may be reached at 831-920-0205.
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