One day it all ends. Your son goes on to college, graduates and moves away. Your daughter grows up, sings much less often, and is the adult you dreamed of, if not the performer she once imagined. At that point what you, their dad has, is the memories of high school sporting events, and choral recitals. Or what you remember is work, endless projects and assignments, that were so critical then, but now you can barely remember.
It seems to me, dads never regret being there for their kids. In the scope of things, if we examine what is really important in our lives, being there matters for the ones we love. It doesn’t matter that high school football is nowhere near the quality of the NFL. The seats are uncomfortable, the donations they take up always drain your on-hand cash, and it is obvious the referee has not had an eye exam in the last decade. But when your son plays, even when he warms the bench, there is no more exciting event than the one you are sitting in on. Your cheers support his efforts. Your sympathy helps him realize it is only a game. Your admiration for his victories make him feel proud, even though he could not touch your pride with a 50 foot pole. But one day, the games all end, the last season is played, and your life and his move on.
I remember my daughter’s choral recitals. They were remarkably good, classical arias, done with a level of perfection I would not have expected for children of her age. The fine clothing and special attention to her hair and makeup, no detail left without focus. The music would float in and dance across the ear drums, vibrating with smooth sounds as if air could meet chocolate. I quickly read through the home-grown program guide, to see if or when she might have a solo. So many names to scan, not always do I find hers with a solo to offer. But the applause is near deafening an abrupt change from the pastoral sounds that preceded it. But alas, recitals cannot last forever. Your life and her life move on.
Sitting in my office, putting pen to paper, or keys to keyboard, now only the memory of these events do I have to cherish. What projects I missed to attend these events I could not possibly care less about now. And what accomplishments I made in my career during the same tenure of time, matter nothing to me in comparison. They say you must balance family with work. I say this was only said by the boss at work, who was single, and had no family to consider in the equation.
My children will not remember their performances as I will, but they will remember my face in the stands. Being there is worth so much. Being anywhere else worth so little. If there is a balance in life, the ship anchor lays on the side of your children, the pile of feathers on the side of your other considerations. It’s not even close. What I wouldn’t do for a fresh season again, what ticket price could be too high, for a chance to be there again, but my time is over. What will you do with yours?
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- No price too high for high school football & choir recitals - June 27, 2016