Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fathers Playing Catch with Sons

Today I played catch with J.P. for the first time. J.P. is 18 months old and is David's younger brother. What I find most interesting is that I love both of them so much, however David and J.P. are so different. For instance, at this point in time, I have never played catch with David. But today, for the first time I played catch with J.P. I really played catch with him! It was amazing, how he comprehended the fact of throwing the ball (albeit a miniature plastic rock) and then catching the ball (well, sometimes grabbing the rock from me). It was an amazing experience. You must experience the J.P. belly laugh - it can't help but bring a smile to your face.

Interestingly enough, during my catch with J.P., David came by with his helicopter. J.P. was okay with this fact and being 18 months old, went on his merry way. So David came by and laid on my lap and we played with his helicopter. This evolved into both of us giving each other a hug and then laying on the floor playing with the helicopter together.

At one point in time in David's short life, I believe it bothered me that David has no interest in playing catch. I wondered is it just his like or dislikes or is it him "being in his world". But ya know, today I didn't care today about that, I really didn't. I really just enjoyed that moment in time with him.

So I think - I am now accepting David for all he is - and that is great and maturing for me. But yet I wonder - it just ain't right for a son not to want to play catch with his father.


Rachel said...

"...I wonder - it just ain't right for a son not to want to play catch with his father." When I read these words they really affected me. I never thought about that much since I'm not a real sports fan. However, I know you had a strong bond with your Dad and fond memories of playing catch with him, so now I understand why this would bother you so.

This thought was provoked again when I saw you playing catch with J.P. on Sunday morning. My heart broke as I recalled your comment. Then out of nowhere, David came over and said, "Can I play?" and I thought I was going to lose my composure. It was answered prayer. The Lord heard the longing of your heart - the desire to play catch with your son - and placed that same desire into David's heart, thus strengthening the bond you share. It was such a beautiful sight to witness and your face beamed with joy and pride. Then to top it off, J.P. grunted that he wanted to play too, so now you were playing catch with both of them. It was more than I could handle! I am so grateful for the gift of my boys and the wonderful father they are blessed with.

Josh said...

John, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to your blog. I actually tried to send you a response a couple of weeks ago but when I hit the publish your comment link my computer froze and I lost everything. Anyway I think I solved my computer problems, temporarily..ha ha.

John I think this is a really great idea, posting your thoughts and feelings like this takes a lot of courage and maturity. I was really interested in this article because being a sports guy I totally understand how it must have hurt you in the past that your son didn't want to play catch with you. I always wondered if it bothered you when you saw Ryan and I play sports together. I wanted to bring the subject up with you but I never wanted to overstep my boundaries and I surely didn't want to appear that I was offending you in any way. Something inside of me felt your pain, but you always appear to be so in control and at peace with yourself I knew that you would find a way to deal with your feelings and you did by starting this blog.

I have never really realized how you and I are in many ways the same. I started laughing to myself when you mentioned in another blog how you enjoy coaching(Jackie's basketball team) so much. As I was reading the article I was thinking to myself, man I could really relate to John.

Well John I just wanted to let you know that your doing a great job as a dad and I'm proud to say that we're friends (accept on the golf course that is.......lol) take care and keep up the good work.