Thursday, January 30, 2014
It’s keeping me young
There’s nothing like starting over again.
At the pee wee basketball games Saturday, we had lots of discussion with friends sitting around us about having children later in life.
We were speaking from experience, as were a couple of others around us.
But for the most part, Pam and I are in a different age group than the parents we’re traveling the sports circuit with now.
With a 22-year-old college graduate and a 19-year-old college student, we’re back to taking in pee wee games, thanks to our 12-year-old daughter.
“It’s keeping you young,” someone said Saturday.
“Either that or it’s giving me more gray hair,” was my response.
I’ve told folks time and time again that I will likely never get to retire.
Pam, who is, of course, younger than I, jokes that she may be rolling me to Erin’s college graduation in a wheelchair.
Actually, all joking aside, I’m enjoying the repeat in the raising-a-child cycle.
Some of my greatest memories come from either coaching or accompanying Emma and Andy during their youth activities.
They started out in T-ball and later added softball, soccer and baseball. Emma got involved in musicals and the list of activities go on and on as they progressed from elementary, to junior high to high school.
In Laurel, I was asked to help coach soccer, and I did not know anything about the sport – period.
I still don’t know much, but I learned more and more as Emma enjoyed it over the years. Thank goodness, she developed her skills playing for coaches who knew the game and knew it well.
Andy basically participated in everything – basketball, baseball, football, track and even some soccer and tennis.
We often wonder how much money we spent on gasoline for our vehicles during their school years. We were on the road four and five days a week sometimes.
Some of my favorite “old” pictures are those of Emma and Andy playing sports or those of Emma performing in musicals during her high school years.
I’m a firm believer in classroom and grades first. I was taught that by my mother during all my years of playing ball. But, as she did, too, I believe that extra-curricular activities teach our children valuable lessons along the way, too.
It teaches them to deal with victory and defeat. It teaches them discipline and teamwork, and the list goes on and on.
I’m not coaching Erin’s team this year. She’s in the capable hands of Bobby Clanton, Callie Clanton and Roy Ray.
Erin, like the other two, has discovered that her father, the coach, likes to yell and often he does it from the stands, too.
I don’t see it as a negative thing. I see it as teaching. It’s largely constructive yelling. I’m just naturally a loud person, even when I talk.
Saturday, in the gymnasium at Tunica, we had to sit in the bleachers all the way at one end.
Before the first game, I told Erin that if I stayed “way down here,” she would not be able to hear me yelling at her.
Smiling, she said, “Daddy, that’s OK.”
I can’t believe I’m getting to enjoy all of this at age 52.
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