I’m not talking about serious pursuits with which I am intimately familiar. Serious pursuits can be an amazing experience, but they are too intense, expensive, and often too exotic. My daughter is a tennis player, my teenage son is also a tennis player, recovering from an injury, and my oldest son is a runner, going through a difficult track season in his final year before college. My youngest son, one of the twins (I have four kids if you’re keeping count) swims and recently started enjoying basketball.
Though I’ve seen my kids play sports for many years, I experienced this special feeling — pure happiness — from watching my kids do sports after the pandemic, when school sports resumed. My oldest son was in a cross-country race which is not an easy event to watch — you can only get a glimpse when you see runners pass a certain spot. That glimpse I caught and I got very emotional — many months of lockdowns and now the kids were sweating, doing their very best, competing, and enjoying the race, though the pain on their faces didn’t always the joy.
As I mentioned, my youngest son is enjoying basketball. Twice this week we found time to go to a local park. My daughter joined too!
Today we went back to the same park and played with other kids.
It was a two-on-two game, and there was no room for me. I stepped aside and didn’t regret at all that I was not playing. For one thing, I’m not very good at basketball. Also, I’m scared to play! My son is now so strong and grown up that he can knock me off my feet, which I don’t want because I’m a runner — I don’t want any injuries, even if minor.
And I was just happy watching my kids play — how they smiled, made friends with strangers, scored, missed, won, changed teams, lost, and played again. It was pure fun that transcended time and space. No technological advances can ever impact the fun of chasing or throwing a ball.
Tomorrow we’ll play again.