Friday, July 08, 2005

Nothing is sweeter than your children succeeding

In the midst of all the busyness of work and other stuff that we spend time on, our children grow up and blossom. We all need to stop and smell the roses.

My son had an Eagle Scout Court of Honor tonight. When he joined scouting several years ago, we sat down and laid out a plan for what he needed to do to get here. Not that he would have gotten here on his own. It took lots of coaxing and prodding. The times I told him to "do it because I said so" and "you'll get to screw up someone else's life in the future, but now is my turn," I heard myself sounding like my mother.

There were camp outs and summer camps and an Order of the Arrow ordeal. The back packing trips and canoe trips were fun, but tiring. Now that he's an Eagle Scout, I appreciate it more than he does. I'm an Eagle Scout too, and this is one of those things in life that you savor more as time goes by. As I stood there while he got his award, my mind drifted back to the great scoutmaster and persistent mom I had who wouldn't let me quit either. Frequently the topic of scouting comes up in conversations, and more often than you might expect I run into other Eagle Scouts. It's an instant fraternity when that happens. My son will experience this over time.

My daughter will be a senior and starts in center field for the Riverside High School softball team, where she has since the eight grade. She is an All-State player this year. When she was little we would spend hours in the front yard playing catch. She was good, and I'd hum the ball at her harder than her mom was comfortable with. Recently we were playing catch in the front yard and I threw it hard at her. She caught it, stared me down, and told me not to dare think I could throw harder than her now. Don't tell her, but my sore hand says she's probably right.

Last year, I was sitting on the visitor's bleachers to avoid the glare of the sun. A runner was on third with one out. The ball was hit to center field. My daughter lined up under the ball, with her momentum going to home when she caught it like she'd been taught. The runner tagged up, and my daughter threw a strike to home to get the runner at the plate. The opposing parents exploded ... at the third base coach. "That's 'E' in center field. What was he thinking sending her home? That's 'E' in center field." Wow! That's respect, and my highlight of her softball career.

Nothing is sweeter than being there when your children succeed. Nothing.

1 comment:

Suzy Townes said...

Hi John. What a great article! I enjoyed reading it. And many congratulations to both your son and daughter for all the wonderful accomplishments. I am the proud parent of 3 Eagle Scouts, and I know just how wonderful it felt to ME to get those treasured Eagle pins at those Courts of Honor!