Josh Solar is our guest today. He is one half of The Happy Family Movement, an amazing website that aims to help families live a great life together. Fittingly, today he talks about the bonds formed through baseball.
Memories. You know the ones. All the wonderful memories you created with Dad. All the baseball. The trips to the amusement park in Albuquerque when mom was in some sort of training. The soccer & basketball & swimming (yes, lots of sports). Sneaking food into your room when mom sent you to bed without dinner because you wouldn't quit talking back. I'm sure your memories of Dad vary from mine, but you get the point.
For me, baseball with my dad was IT. The moment I could walk, I'm pretty sure my dad was throwing whiffle balls to me and teaching me how to properly field a ground ball. Watching the Dodgers on TV, eating all sorts of junk food. Most of my favorite memories of my dad involve baseball in some way or another. Especially the time we got to actually go to a Dodgers game and I got to try the world famous Dodger Dog for the first time (Note: It lived up to the hype!). I remember how excited I was when my dad took me to the Dodger store so I could buy all the World Series memorabilia after they won the World Series in 1988… you know, the year when Kirk Gibson hit that home run on one leg.
Now that I'm a dad, I think back to all the things my dad did with me and how they influence the way I raise my son. He's 6 and he LOVES baseball. Every day after school, we either head to the ball park so I can pitch to him, or we just play baseball in the street (we live on a cul-de-sac so it's safe). I'd like to think that my time spent playing baseball with Max will lead to some of life's most important lessons. Patience. Teamwork. The importance of putting in hard work to master a certain skill set. Hustle. Never give up. Be ready for whatever may come your way. Pride (I feel a great deal of pride when he rips a line drive over my head and I see that big 'ol grin as he's proud of himself).
Playing baseball with my son brings me back to all the time spent with my dad. I'm constantly reminded of the impact we have on these young, beautiful little human beings. As a dad, just being there, being PRESENT for your kids, attentive, listening, laughing with them, LOVING them with your whole heart. That's a big deal. I know, at some point, he'll be out on his own. He'll fall in love. Have kids of his own. And when it comes time to play with his kids, I want him to remember all the wonderful things WE did together. To love his family with his whole heart, and pass those same life lessons on to his kiddos.