November 3, 2012
The Last Game
Reed, congratulations on your final college soccer game yesterday. It has been a joy to drive the 30,000 miles over the past four years to watch your games. I have never seen anyone whose play more perfectly captures who he is as a person -- you play (and live) with joy, passion, perseverance, humility, and selflessness. Your special gift is that you make those around you better, on the athletic field and off.
Yesterday also marked the end of seventeen years (and thousands of hours) of watching you play baseball, basketball, soccer and tennis. My heart aches that I will no longer be able to sit in the stands and cheer on my son, but I am comforted by Ecclesiastes 3:1:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
So now that we're moving on to the next season, I can let you in on a secret: it was never about the games. Rather, sports provided me with the excuse to simply spend time with you. In many ways, sports have been the soundtrack of our lives, playing in the background while we spent precious time together as you grew into the remarkable young man you are today.
Your mother and I will never forget our tearful embrace after yesterday's game and the tender words we exchanged. It was a wonderful capstone to a senior year we will always cherish. Although the games have been great, better still have been the many breakfasts and dinners (and shivering nights at the Dairy Barn) with you and your friends.
Remember always that your mother and I love you beyond all measure. And that God loves you infinitely more. Being your parents has been the great honor and privilege of our lives.
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What, no pro career? Seriously though Paul, they sometimes do not stop. A few years ago we drove to Boston to cheer home our youngest daughter in a half marathon. And this fall we got to a Pops Warner game for a grandson. It is as you say. We go to such events to be with them, not ever for the race or game. Next year we look forward to lacrosse, more races and who knows what else.
Posted by: Bill Turnier | Nov 3, 2012 8:54:18 AM
A wonderful and touching letter from a dad to his son.
Posted by: Woody | Nov 3, 2012 2:24:05 PM
Amen, Paul. What a beautiful post. My kids are much younger, but I'll be thinking of what you wrote while coaching them in soccer and basketball this week.
Posted by: Bobby Chesney | Nov 3, 2012 3:08:45 PM
Paul: You expressed so very well the sentiments of many parents, my daughter's, in particular. She began running with me on my early morning jaunts and went on to being captain of her high school cross-country and track teams. I became such a fixture at the cross-country meets that I was invited to ride on the school bus with the team. But it was always about sharing time with her in her own environment, with her own friends. She now has two of her own, ages 5 and 7, with whom we are forging new relationships, new friendships and, of course new memories. We can also confirm that parenting skills remain useful though temporarily dormant after the children leave home. Thanks for the memories.
Posted by: Al Golbert | Nov 4, 2012 7:44:21 PM
A touching and heartfelt letter. But do you really believe that there's a God somewhere who loves your kid "infinitely more" than you and his mother do?
Posted by: Albert Ross | Nov 5, 2012 11:57:47 PM
Posted by: Paul Caron | Nov 6, 2012 7:24:41 AM
Talk of tax law never quite has this effect on me. I'm more than a little choked up.
Posted by: Brad | Nov 6, 2012 3:40:27 PM