Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day - Part 1

Well, tomorrow is Father’s Day, the day on which tons of neckties and books are liberally given to dads all over the land! So, what are 25 of the top one million things that a father can do for his son (the son who will someday be a dad)? Well, spread over the next two weeks, here they are:

1) Coached his son’s T-Ball team when the child was only 7-years-old and encouraged and coached him while the son went 33-34 at the plate, after following his dad’s advice to hit everything toward 3rd base, because nobody at that age could fire the ball to first base in time to get the kid out!

2) Managed his son’s baseball teams at age 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Had to miss managing the 10-year-old season due to a work commitment in another state – a season that the father and son always regretted.

3) Always expected more from his son in practice and games than he expected from the other boys. While the son felt somewhat pressured, he credits his dad’s driving him with his making the all-star team as the shortstop!

4) After the son continued to believe that the father was “too tough” on him in practice and in games, the dad agreed to step down as his son’s manager for the first time.

5) In one of his first games with somebody other than his father as the manager, the kid, now 15-years-old, pitched the 2nd no-hitter of his career. After the game, the son was barely able to get his father’s attention. The kid’s feelings were hurt. Later, after asking the dad for the reason behind the blow off, the kid learned that the dad had been near tears and would have broken down in front of everybody had the two spoken right after the game.

6) After refusing to get the kid another dog (the first two dogs had passed away within months of coming into the home), the father, after being away for 10 weeks and missing his son’s 10-year-old baseball season, allowed the son to get another dog – a magnificent collie who would become a buddy to the father and son.

7) After the magnificent collie passed away years later and after the son moved out and got married, the father got another collie.

8) After watching his son make two egregious mistakes in a basketball game in front of what seemed to be about a thousand people, the dad used the next morning to berate his child for his poor play and for embarrassing the family and the team. While the son thought that this treatment was harsh at the time, the son later realized that the ‘chewing out” had awakened him toward a quest for excellence in all that he did.

9) The dad wore a suit to work every single day – a trend that the son had decided to follow for his own career.

10) Although he had resisted purchasing a swimming pool for his children, the father eventually gave in; bought a pool; and the whole family used it as a gathering place for family fun for years.

11) Refused to let his son swim on game days until after the game, because the pros did not swim on game days.

12) Early on told the son that he would be going to college and he would earn at least one degree. There would be no discussing the matter. Nobody was more proud than the dad when the son walked across the stage to receive his B.A.

13) Demanded that the son perform regular tasks around the house, i.e., taking put the garbage, shoveling snow, etc. However, when the son started taking care of the lawn on days of 95 degrees, the dad told the son to slow down and not work so hard - apparently the dad believed that his years-long message had gotten through too well!

14) Even though the two had a breakdown in communication during the son’s final year of college, mostly due to the father’s stress at work, the dad later became a nightly visitor at the apartment of his son and new bride.

(Please come back next Saturday for the conclusion of the Father's Day Top 25!)

Paul W. Reeves

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