It Can't Last Forever
If you have ever had a kid in sports, you may be able to relate...
The car hums along the road. It’s just past sunrise, and my player is still sleepy, so I try not to make him talk. It’s early, and the car is cool, but the heat of the day is evident by the way it rises from the pavement when we hit a certain height on this straight but hilly country road.
I mention to my groggy, 16-year old baseball player that he should look at the countryside. It truly was exquisite, especially in the morning. The softness of the landscape was something you didn’t appreciate when you lived in Ohio. But leave it, and when you return, you find it stunning. Fields of low, dark green corn, bordered by a green palette of deciduous trees, sparkled with almost-evaporated morning dew.
We arrive to the ballpark just in time, 45 minutes before the start of the game. Parents are standing behind cars with the hatchbacks of their SUVs open, cool air spilling out. They are pulling out shade tents, small coolers, and sling back folding sports chairs while younger siblings wait alongside them.
As I turn to open my car door and step out, a sad feeling comes over me. Soon, the years of having him to myself in the car will end. The quiet morning drives, the jubilant afternoons, where I have other loud and laughing players in the car, and the evening after-game drives when my husband and I are headed to a team dinner.
I silently make a pact with myself to enjoy every second, more that I have, until that time comes. I look at him with that mom-look.
“Nothing,” I say. “Just love you, kid.”