The responsible father
As a young father, creating traditions and memories for our 2 children was not difficult for me. All the holidays were choreographed by inherited customs from my childhood. I was the director. It’s halloween – we must go trick or treating till the bags are bursting with candy and the night is dark. “We’re not tired – are we?! One more house!”
Past and Present
For Father’s day this year, I was given a ticket to the Brewer’s vs Colorado Rockies game played at Coors Field. Father-daughter day at the ball park, just like the old days! The difference was that this game was in her province. She lives and works in Denver and it was time for her to continue our summer baseball tradition, but – now she was the director.
As we made our way toward Coors Field from the parking lot, I noticed peanuts being sold outside the gates. This was classically native to games back in Milwaukee! We all stopped and bought bags to carry in.
Walking toward the main entrance as game time approached, I realized that the father-daughter baseball experience was different now. Invited friends, roommates and another dad were part of it all. I was a cherished participant, not a leader.
A favorite diversion from a long 9 inning game, back when I was the “father in charge” was to lead the kids up to the grandstand’s highest seats, the vacant section, for a panoramic view of the field, the stadium and the night sky. I lead them up, one step at a time to the very top. Turning back I would call out: “Come on, we’re almost there! 50 more steps!” Arriving at the pinnacle, we were high above it all, alone, in a mass of empty seats, free to act as silly as we all wanted with the tiny players on a triangle of green doing their thing below.
Without waiting for my winded response, she whirled, and bounded up the steps to catch up with her friends.
I have tears in my eyes.