Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

When I was growing up, my sisters and I were extremely fortunate that my parents exposed us to a variety of cultural opportunities: sports, scouting,  plays, museums, you name it. However, sports ended up being a constant and big part of the Haynes household. As a child, I remember playing basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball, and American football pretty much in that order. I especially remember the age of 8, this was the year I played Little League baseball and soccer during the same year.  Games for both sports were on Saturdays, but fortunately, the practices rarely conflicted. Baseball practices were Mondays and Wednesdays and soccer practices were Tuesday and Thursdays. I remember Saturday being very busy days for my parents. My soccer matches were usually Saturday morning and baseball games were in the afternoon. Of course I wanted to play all the games I could and my parents supported, nurtured, and encouraged me to do so. My parents were and still are all about honoring commitments and finishing what one starts. Yes, the age of 8 was a very busy year, but also a very fun year. Many great memories took place that year.

Now, it seems like things are coming full circle. My Pops likes to say, “What goes around, comes around.” Yes it does! I have my own children now and my wife and I want to expose them to a variety of cultural opportunities and experiences as well. We have our children involved in swimming, ice hockey, soccer, and various after school activities.  My oldest son, Miles has soccer and swimming on the same days and it takes me back at times to when I was 8 yrs. old. Miles recently had a soccer match at 9:10 and swim lessons at 10:20. Like his dad back in the day, Miles wanted to do both and I was going to make sure that he did. Miles’ soccer match was his first game of the season and it was a blast! Miles was excited as were his teammates and the parents. Miles’ team ended up winning, but the most important thing was that all the kids got the opportunity to play and everyone had fun.

Plus, I think the kids enjoyed the post game snacks as much as the game. As Miles was putting a orange wedge in his mouth with one hand and had a bottle of water in his other hand I looked at him and said, “We gotta go.” He understood it was time for swimming lessons and he replied, “Ok.”

We get to the car, I had his swim gear out and ready to go. I parked close to another car and I had the back door of the car strategically positioned as I had Miles change from his soccer gear to his swim gear. As Miles was taking off his soccer shoes and putting on his swim trunks, I couldn’t help but think back to over 30 years ago when I was doing a similar same quick change in some random parking lot or in the backseat of the family car going from one sporting event to another. Miles got himself dressed and then we were off.  En route to the swimming pool Miles asked, “Daddy can we talk about the game?” And I replied, “Of course.” When I replied, another flashback took place. When Miles asked me this, I couldn’t help but think back to me and my Pops having the same post game conversations. I loved these times with my Pops and look back on them fondly. With my children, I have decided that I will discuss the games if they want to do so. I don’t want to place too much emphasis on any one event, but I will gladly discuss the event and look forward to doing so when they are ready to.

We arrive at the pool just as Miles’ name was being called, nice! Miles had a vigorous and enthusiastic swim lesson. I could tell that he was a little tired during the lesson and he told me as much after it concluded. After a full morning of activity, a young body needs to fortify and replenish itself so we made our once a week trip to Dunkin’ Donuts where Miles and his brother are allowed one donut. Miles ate and we talked. I shared with him the errands I had to do for the remainder of the day and he shared with me how he wanted to spend the rest of his day.

We get home and we shared with mom and little brother  Miles’ morning exploits and how much fun we had. After this, I went to the kitchen to make myself a salad, read the paper, and listen to some music. After about 5 minutes, the door opens and it is Miles. Miles and I look at one another and he exasperatingly asked me, “So, Daddy, when are we going to hang out? We haven’t hung out all day!” All I could do was smile.

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