When my son was learning to crawl I placed a soccer ball, baseball, football, and basketball on the floor and asked him which one he likes the best. He chose the soccer ball. Like many dads, I can go a little nuts about my son’s athletic progress. I’ll try and act like I don’t, but somewhere deep inside I can hear a voice and it says, “And the number one pick is Wyatt Greene.” Then I get a little crazier and fantasize about what team he’ll play for. My craziness hits an even bigger level when I consider how he’s going to juggle two professional sports. Sure Deon and Bo did it, but would they have been even better if they had stuck to one sport? Yes, I am a lunatic. But admit it fellow fathers, many of you do the same thing.
I’ve been blessed with a son that not only loves sports, but is good at them. Can I say it? Okay, my pride is getting the best of me. My son is really good at sports. We dads can get a bad rap for doing just what I did and I think that’s too bad. I’ve spent countless hours playing sports with my son. We take sports equipment everywhere we go because you never know when an opportunity to play catch will arise. We’ve got a common bond that uses sports to bring us closer together. A large chunk of my day is kicking a ball or throwing one. I love throwing out his stats in everyday conversation and blogs such as during the last soccer season he averaged four goals a game and during baseball season I half expected scouts to come by and watch him and his friend Toby play (Shout out to his best friend and also an athletically gifted kid.) Sorry, I did it again. I became that irritating dad that talks about how great their kids play at sports. But then again what do you expect? We are constantly beaten over the head by saying that dads have to be more involved in their kid’s lives. Then when we do we get looked down upon for bragging. If my son was the Spelling Bee champion and I told everyone he could spell cymotrichous, people would shower him with congratulatory words. But if I talk about how he got 4 big hits to the fence or scored all 5 goals, then I get the “oh, you’re that kind of dad” look. That isn’t fair.
Now before I start getting emails that discuss the problems that occur with having an athletic child, I’ll say that I know what they are. Dads can live through their son and push them too hard. Dads can lose their temper and behave in an unhealthy way. Wyatt told me after getting yelled at once for dropping a ball, “Dad, don’t you think it’s pretty silly to get yelled at because of baseball? I didn’t do anything bad.” After shaking the thought that because of his drop 2 runners advanced and one scored out of my head, I agreed with him that it is silly.
I’m going to try my best to not get so wrapped up in his sporting life. After all, I must admit that he probably gets most of his athletic genes from his mother and after all the work that I do he’ll probably be on TV someday and say, “Hi Mom.” My desire for my son is to do his best in everything he does and leave feeling good.
Ah, who am I kidding? I want free tickets to sporting events. Hit the gym boy!