I picked up Carter from school, drove through Burger King to get him a quick dinner, and went to the practice field. We were running a skills clinic with another team. Twenty-five kids, a handful of coaches, a bunch of baseballs, gloves and bats, and the end of a day in the fall.
I love baseball.
Carter and I share these nights together. I pitched to him, watched him hit, throw, and catch. After practice he ran and played with his friends. We went to Wawa, got a pair of sandwiches, and came back to the house. He sat next to me at the table and we ate together.
My mind flashed back to nights with my dad, eating dinner next to him and feeling proud of where I was and still trying to work out the mystery of the father-son dynamic.
We watched some television, read a pair of books, and I put him to bed.
He looked at me with his hazel eyes, golden blonde hair, and smile just like his mother’s and said, “I love you.”
I sit here and wonder what he will become:
A gentleman? One who opens doors and pulls out chairs? Who picks up checks and helps elderly women with their shopping bags in a parking lot? Who donates to charities, his church, and his kids’ elementary school?
A husband who loves his wife and never raises a hand to her.
A man of faith, of belief in the good in people and a backbone to face struggle and suffering. An activist working to make things right in his own corner of the universe.
A man who reads books before he sees the movie.
A man who reads poetry for the beauty of language and music of the soul.
A father who takes the time to take his son to baseball practice, get sandwiches, and eat dinner together.
A father who doesn’t get lost in his cell phone, or job, or social life.
A servant of his wife and children and a leader of his household.
These things swirl in my mind as he sleeps on his Spongebob pillow and I realize the depth of grace and blessing that comes with being a parent, being a father, being a man with the chance to pass on values to his son.
Carter, I’ll do my best. Forgive me when I fail, stick with me when I slip up, and know I’d do anything for you and that every time you tell me you love me I steal the moment and lock it deep inside my soul as it is a passing glimpse of Heaven.
Soundtrack Inspiration: One of Val’s favorites