Archive for February, 2014

On pride and love

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

I watched a baseball movie today, about a high school coach who became a major league pitcher. He goes through a process of try outs, minor league outings, long travel days apart from his family. The final scene has him striking out his first batter to win the game. As he’s getting ready to leave the ballpark, he sees his father standing back behind the reporters. In a terse exchange his father acknowledges that he had missed too many important things in his sons life, and his son acknowledges the same, then just before they turn to leave each other, he hands his father the game ball, the ball he registered his first major league strikeout with. His father had tried to dissuade the son, an already 30+ year old from chasing a crazy dream like being a major league pitcher, but the son, supported by his wife and children, went ahead and chased the dream. Giving his dad the ball might have been a way to say, “I did it” and his father accepting the ball might have been a way to say “I knew you could.” It made me miss my Dad again.

Communication is hard sometimes. Sometimes we mean to say the right thing, but never get the chance.

Trying to tell your children what’s the safe thing to do in life is hard too, you never want to step on someones dream. But being proud of your children, its easy. We look at all they’ve done, all they do and how couldn’t a parent be proud? Sure they do it their way, they don’t do it the way we would have, but, they do it, and anytime you see someone put all of themselves into something, you have to admire it, and as a parent, its impossible not to be proud of them.

My favorite oldest and youngest daughters are doing that, putting all of themselves into making lives, building careers, building communities, doing good things for others, and making me proud of everything they do.

In the final scene, the pitcher’s wife steps towards him, having seen the exchange with the father, as they walk out of the stadium, he asks who’s looking after their children, she says a name and he looks at her wondering why she would leave their children with that person, as they round a corner she says “he has some help” as in help looking after their children. When he rounds the corner he is met by pretty much everyone from his little Texas town who traveled to see him achieve his dream. What a scene. He picks up his children in both arms, stands with his wife in amazement as the town cheers his accomplishment.

It struck me at that point, sometimes your community is bigger than you think.

Winter is long up north, grad school takes a long time to finish, but its important to know, that whether one can see them or not, the little towns of friends, family, and colleagues stands behind us, cheering us on.

Its true, like this character there are sacrifices, and sometimes we wonder if our dreams are worth it, and its true that like this pitcher, we stand on the mound by ourselves, and actually throw the pitches ourselves, and in the sea of faces around us, we can’t see them, cheering us on, but they’re there. Happy for us, proud for us, and actually elevated when they see someone they’ve been cheering for succeed.

I like those movies.

Its an important reminder to each of us. Cheer our friends and family on. Its what communities do.

Armchair quarterbacking is pretty easy, and sometimes criticism seems more prevalent than praise, but criticism never seems to elevate either the critic or the person being criticized.

Remember the dreamers, cheer them on, be part of their community, be proud of them.

Be good to each other!