And now, with Father’s Day just around the corner… again from Don at With Malice…
Recently, I became a ‘dad’. My son was born a little over two months ago, and now I find my mind often strays to thoughts of his future: what’s he going to be like, and more relevant to this site – what sports will he enjoy, as I enjoyed throughout my childhood and into my adulthood? Then one rain-splattered Sunday morning, my thoughts turned more retrospective, and I considered where my love of sport originated…
I was never a star at any particular sport, but I did fit in the category of ‘pretty good’ at quite a few of the many sports I tried my hand at. But growing up in Australia’s South East, Australian Football was the first sport I had a love for.
It’s a sport that pretty much every boy growing up in my part of the world loves and plays. And dads (like dads all over the world with their son’s sports) get up early on Saturday mornings to take their sons to “the footy”. It’s almost a cultural tradition in country-South-East-Australia. My dad loved his sport, and passed on passion for sports to me.
Every Saturday morning, he’d get up, and drive me to wherever the day’s game was. In country Australia that’s sometimes 30-40 kilometers (up to around 25 miles) away, sometimes a little further. And of course there’s training 2~3 times a week, the social functions, and – if you’re good enough – representative football. Add to that helping other dads mark the lines for the boundaries in the morning before games, and for any father with a sporting child, it all adds up to quite a time commitment. But he never complained – fathers never do. He’d polish my footy boots – even for training. I’d tell him not to bother, he’d always tell me that no matter how I was playing, the least I could do was look like a footballer. If I needed – or rather – wanted to work a lil’ on my kicking, dad was available for a kick-the-kick session. He was always, always there. Tireless. Like all dads, it didn’t matter what he was doing, what the weather was like, if I was in need, there he was.
So Father’s Day is this Sunday, and here I am, a dad. My first Father’s Day. And now I think of the sports my son Tyler Daniel will play. I only wish my father could see his grandson, and maybe share with me some of the thoughts he had watching me grow up. My father died coming up on 13 years ago. He never met my wife, nor saw his grandson, who now carries his name. But I’m pretty sure he’d be pleased with both.
Now I share with him – tho’ divided by many years – aspirations, dreams and hopes for my own son… and the joy that comes from fatherhood.
I guess I took a lot of his efforts for granted, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t mind not getting the thanks he so richly deserved. I think he enjoyed watching his son play sport.
Just as I’ll enjoy watching mine do the same.