"Youth is wasted on the young"
George Bernard Shaw
When my youngest son graduated high school this past month the realization hit me that I no longer had anyone to go see playing on a team until my grandsons start in a few years.
I really enjoy watching sports live and even more so when I know someone on the team.
My husband did point out that we live near several little league fields where I could just walk down and watch a game any time I wanted during the spring and summer.
I told him that I did not want to be "the creepy old lady who no one knows lurking around the bleachers during the games!"
The funny thing was that I was having this conversation as we were driving on our way to my hubby's own baseball game.
While I sat on the bleachers with the only other wife that goes to watch the men play regularly, I had a sudden realization.
When boys are young they play sports for a few reasons, one, they see it as a way to a better way of life; two, their parents make them play to get them out of the house, or lastly because they really like to play.
Boys take for granted their stamina, their energy, their flexibility and most of all their health. Boys also take for granted the amount of free time they have in which to play those sports.
As boys of summer become men of life they must focus on college degrees, career development, getting married and making a living. These newly developed men slowly come to the realization that the things they had taken for granted before, suddenly become a treasured past time that must be etched into their tight schedules in order to be able to continue to participate in their beloved sport.
As I watched these men warming up, on that warm, breezy, spring night, I was touched by what I was seeing in their eyes. These men come from all walks of life and vary in age, size and athletic ability, but as they gathered on that field slowly the years melted away and the sheer joy of boyhood was once again visible. There was an unmistakeable twinkle in their eyes, a glimmer of mischief and a twinge of anticipation at the excitement of the upcoming game.
I was mostly touched by the look on my hubby's face. I knew he loved baseball as much as I did, but I had never loved and lost. By this I mean I had never had the opportunity to actually play baseball on a team like he did in middle and high school. My Hubby had to put his beloved game aside for family, responsibilities and life.
When he finally took me up on my nagging, I mean persuation, of playing again, I was so happy for him, but I never looked at it like watching my kids playing, never thought it mattered whether I was in the stands or not.
Now that we were practically empty nesters, and watching his face it made me realize that this game mattered a lot more than any world series play off game.
It did not matter that there was only two of us in the stands, that no one would read about it in the paper, or see any highlight reels at 11.
What did matter was that these men, for a couple of hours a week, were able let go of the world, and tap into their youth of days gone by.
Their throws might not go as far, their sprint might be more of a trot, and the side winder might be more of lob, but to these men of life, being boys of summer for a little while longer, makes them feel like they just closed out a winning series.
Do you think we could do a wave of two??