milestones and tears–from a dad

So…after spending over a decade and hundreds–if not thousands–of miles traipsing all over Texas (and beyond) to watch my sons participate in sports, it all effectively comes to an end tonight–pending a road trip Friday to OK to see the baby play.

Though I WON’T miss getting lost in Crowley or Burleson, trying to find the right Mansfield school, ever Ever going to Mineral Wells, eating gross Taco Bell in OK, or getting up before dawn on Saturdays and getting home past midnight before doing it all again on Sundays, there’s so much I WILL miss.

I’ll miss seeing our sons, collectively, excel. I’ll miss the camaraderie with the parents and friendships I’ve formed. I’ll miss road trips with Cait and making game-day peanut butter-banana sandwiches. I’ll miss being the loudest parent–unless Mamma V is there–and chants of “DEFENSE!!” I’ll miss jumping out of my seat when someone makes an incredible play. I’ll miss using my ninja texting skills to liveBlog the game. I’ll miss grabbing DQ or Sonic on the way home. And I’ll miss witnessing the incredible sportsmanship and character this brotherhood of young men in particular has exhibited game after game after game–since 1st grade.

And I think I’ll miss the post-game raps at home with #3 most of all.

Thanks to all my sons for the many years of excitement you’ve provided me through your participation in football, tennis, even the soccer games, and especially my favorite: basketball. SO MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES. (Not the least of which is when, after Daniel was dragged down by his jersey in one of his first football games, Pam screamed out at the refs “HEY! THEY CAN’T DO THAT!! FOUL! Or something!”)

over a decade of sports

(Oh, and thank all of you for not running track.)

10 thoughts on “milestones and tears–from a dad

    • i can’t imagine ever missing a moment of any of it…. I’m the one who’s blessed, by far.

      plus, surely one of them will look after me at the home. haha

  1. What amazing memories you’ve made for the kids too. I’m sure somewhere and sometime, if they haven’t already, they will talk or write about how lucky they are to have a Dad who cared enough to go to to over a decade of games! Don’t forget, there’s still college, with more chance for miles of driving, but hopefully better choices of food!

    • ohhhhh the memories! so many! i hope i don’t get Alzheimer’s because I want to remember them all until I leave this life!

      i don’t know if they’re lucky or not (and they might have preferred that i yelled a little less loudly???) but i for sure am the lucky one.

      but one thing i know for sure: all four will be amazing fathers in their own right.

      thanks, sister, for commenting and reminding me of the better food ahead 🙂

  2. I remember that first funky t-shirt for Acton elementary and knew you were sunk up to your eyes for the next stretch of years!!! You’ve done well…

    I ran in to one of my kids’ jr high band directors this week (I was all-band-mom-all-the-time) and we laughed about “once a band mom, always a band mom”. Its been 2 yrs since I had a kiddo in band, but I found myself asking questions about the number of recruits for next year, status of various groups and status of the jazz program… its gonna be a few years before Jilli is ready to play, but ya know I gotta know!!!

    Now we head for the next set of milestones. As you and I are similarly involved when it comes to parenting, I can assure you that when you pass one milestone, three more appear.

    Jen’s milestones were once “state” and getting accepted to the various post-high-school programs in college band without being a music major. Then the milestone was spending a semester in Oxford. Then it was getting out with her degree and finding employment in her field pending her masters program… March 23 I will attend her white coat ceremony and she has recently been told that her first two clinical rotations are in Texas – Childress in fam prac & Lubbock in surgery.

    Jesica’s milestones have been different, but equally importatnt and not for open discussion… but can you imagine how my heart soars to see her in her own home with a wonderful husband and three kids, a career in a field she loves… and a relationship with me that made her stop by and say “mom, lets pick Jilli up from day care early and go get pedis!!!” You bet! I’m there!!! Basking in the glow…

    Jason & I have a different view of his milestones at present – but that’s all part of becoming an adult… He’s still trying to find the milestones in the mine field but he will find them – that’s how he was raised. He is transferring to OC next year where they have a better department for his major so he can buckle down and move forward… so there’s a milestone…

    As for the nursing home, maybe by then you and I will get to rock and chat!!!
    Love ya much!!!

    • ahhhhhhhhhh it all began with a t-shirt design. and an Acton Dads program. and Field Days (oh how i miss those!). and friday afternoon readings to the class. and coaching first graders. and baseball games. and basketball games. and science fair projects.

      ok not the science fair projects. those were a whipping!


      thanks for helping me regain my focus on the milestones ahead. it’s just that after this many years of sports, it’s gonna be hard to know what to do without a game to go to. and i don’t think anyone’s dad ever goes to their intra-mural games, right? 🙂

      i love how you expressed joy over all your childrens’ different milestones and unique 🙂 ways of getting there. that’s really what it’s all about, right. we just want them to be…


      regarding the nursing home: i doubt there will be much rest for us there, either. we’ll be running that place, you know? 😀

      love you too, dear friend.

  3. Todd,

    You just got me all choked up, AGAIN!! I might as well have a tissue box attached to my hip these days, either that or start toughening up lol.
    The last few years on the basketball court have certainly seen their ups and downs, but I am glad to have gained a new friend in you and thankful for ALL the support you have given our boys, from the very start to the last buzzer.
    This Season was not at all what our family had anticipated, full of frustration and some heart ache for Joe BUT he will take away with him precious memories that he would not have otherwise gained and in the end, it was ALL WORTH IT! This ‘brotherhood’ has been incedible and I will truly miss those boys as they spread their wings in a few months. They ALL deserve the very best life has to offer and I know they will make us all very proud!!
    You, my friend, are the most awesome, supportive Dad I have ever seen and Hayden is incredibly lucky to call you his father!! 🙂

    • dear friend….

      first of all–the fact that you took time to read and then comment on my blog (i guess since it wasn’t political this time??hahah) means a lot.
      and…apparently, you got your paybacks bcz i’m sitting here crying myself now.

      wow what a season.
      not at all what our family hoped either, yet it has been a great journey and–despite the heartaches–full of hard-earned life lessons that will last far beyond the stats. more than their talent, it is their character that inspires me.

      and through this journey, i have seen so many selfless, loving parents who have helped out simply because they love these kids. fathers who’ve spent hours coaching them. moms and dads who’ve fixed meals and taken pictures in spite of..well…you know. families who’ve shuttled and fed and provided accommodations…and on and on … this has been a true blessing that i hope these boys won’t take for granted.

      i’m so excited for all of them and although i’m ready to lay down the parent-volunteer mantle, i will miss them and their goofiness and their 3s and watching them enjoy life.

      your words honor me, particularly the honor of being called your friend.

      thank you for sharing the journey with me.

  4. This is not fair — I don’t cry really easily anymore, but man…ya’ll make me weepy!

    So much of what I’ve wanted to say has been said by both you, Todd, and Sandra, already.
    What a trip!! The bond these boys share is something truly special — and what a GREAT group of boys.

    When your kids are little, you can only hope that your children find friends who share common interests and value systems. You pray about it; you do all that you can to steer them away from trouble. I honestly could NOT ask for a greater group of guys for Brendon to spend his time with. What a blessing!

    This group of parents has been one of the most dedicated, friendly, helpful and kid-focused groups I have ever dealt with. Thank you to everyone for your love and dedication to our kids.

    Todd….your blog, so I will focus on you…we need to thank you again for your ENDLESS work with the banners (doesn’t that word make you shiver a bit?), the programs on the table for EVERY GAME, the collages, the amazing ‘thank you’ cards from the boys, all of the online play-by-plays in case we couldn’t be there, all of your art-directing and child-supporting, thanks for your all-accepting spirit, and constantly-there stuff!!! We appreciate all that you have done.

    I will definitely miss this group. Gosh, I know that Brendon will, too (he’ll remember every time he smiles). haha

    Thank you. Thank you to everyone for some fantastic years with our boys.

    • i still can’t finish a sentence about last night outloud to any of my co-workers…geeze and here i thot i was ready for this to end! haha

      oh…! what you said about their friend choices is so true! how blessed are we (and their coach!) to have sons who create absolutely no discipline problems whatsoever or that they are a part of a circle of friends who tempt to be a part of things that could harm them or others (except for the occasional impromptu boxing matches–video coming soon). they’re just doggone good young men and wowwwwww how amazing is that in this day and age? i never had to worry when H told me he was out “with his boys BClough, all-day-malday…” or any of the rest of them. Ever.

      one of my neatest memories was Hayden coming home late after a home game and rushing over to show me the silly dance-off video they’d created–pulled their cars up, kept the lights on, then got in a circle and just danced! that is the joy of youth, right there. and not a beer can or a toke in sight. just amazing.

      and yes, i’m so thankful to have been a part of this group of parents–including a dad who spent a day making a yard sign for every member of the team! i could go on and on but how wonderful for these kids to have been nurtured by a group of parents like this!

      you, too, honor me with your words. [choked up]

      quite simply–it was a privilege to have been a little part of their lives in this way.

      …and then i snap out of the melancholic moment and laugh, remembering that hilarious picture H posted of Bren side-by-side with the toothless pirate… ahhhh memories!

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