This was my son’s first year playing baseball. Being an assistant coach for his team has been such a good experience.
I remember playing Little League and how much fun it was. Baseball was my life as a kid. If I wasn’t at church, I was playing baseball. I watched it on TV, I read all the magazines, I collected all the baseball cards and I begged my parents to let me go to Braves games during the summer. But that was my childhood, not my son’s.
While he enjoyed playing baseball this year, he may or may not ever play baseball again; that’s up to him. He will find his own favorite things. I’ve learned that just because I did something and loved it doesn’t mean he will or has to love it too.
I’m looking forward to finding what brings him joy and develops his character. After the last game of the season, I told him, “If you want to play baseball next year, I’ll need to get you a new bat.”
He looked at me and said, “I don’t know, Daddy. I might want to do something different next year.”
Good for him! I’m excited to see how God is shaping his big heart and if that includes baseball, good. If not, that’s fine too.
He might be a runner, cyclist, swimmer, photographer or pianist. Who knows? He’s only a 6-year-old.
But what I do know is that I’m thankful to be there by his side and am trying to cherish these moments without being too competitive about winning or him being “good” at a sport.
That’s hard to do and I don’t always get it right. But I’m learning as we go — the same way he is. I’m just thankful to be there by his side and am grateful that I’m the one he calls daddy.
Editor’s Note — Bryan Gill is director of men’s ministry at Shades Mountain Baptist Church and director of University Assessment and Professional Studies at Samford University, both in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of 6-year-old Charles and 4-year-old Perri.