My Dad came to my ballgames until the day he died. I was 31 when he “got called up.”
As a kid, he never missed a game. And I played sports year-round, so there were lots of games.
He made me feel like mine was “the earth and everything in it*.” Not through amazing skill of parenting, brilliance of intellect or book learning.
He simply showed up. He was the guy leaning on the fence down the third base line on a hot summer’s day. A face in the crowd on a rainy day at some leaky city gym. A man standing in the cold on the sidelines of some Jr High gridiron two counties from home. Brilliance in simplicity.
Along the way, I surmise, the roles got reversed. He didn’t come to church softball games when I was 30 because he thought I needed him there, or to see great sport. The joy he gave, became the joy he received.
Sometimes I think I am not much of a Dad, and my teenaged kids would agree. Hopefully in time, my children will forget that. What they remember, I hope, is that I showed up.
Let’s celebrate our Dads!
* from Rudyard Kipling’s Poem, “If”