Happy New Year to you all. I truly hope that God blesses you with grace and abundance in 2016.
I can honestly say that this is the quietest and strangest New Year’s Eve that I’ve ever experienced. It’s the first New Year’s that I’ve spent separated from my wife since we met five years ago and its also the first that I’ve spent in a hospital. But all is well.
As I type this, my daughter is labor with our first grandchild and I’ve never been in a hospital as a visitor for this long before. My wife, is down the hall and around the corner in the room with my daughter and her in-laws. There’s a limit on how many people can be in the room with her and dad drew the short straw today. But don’t feel too bad for me… because the BCS games are on and I have the waiting room all to myself… for now.
But now that the games are both over and there’s very little on cable at this time of the night, here I am blogging while watching a replay of the game I just watched… and I’m exhausted. It’s 5:09am and my daughter was admitted at around 1:30pm yesterday. My granddaughter refuses to make her grand entrance for whatever reason. Had she come yesterday, she would have shared a birthday with her aunt and uncle who happen to be twins and judging from the current time, she lost her shot at being the first baby born in the new year. But now she will always have the honor of being one of the many, many new babies to be born on this New Year’s Day.
Baby Noel, Papa is waiting on you. Waiting to plant the seed of your legacy yet to be fulfilled, waiting to tell you about God’s plans for your life and His unwavering love and grace. To catch you when you fall and to put you on the right path when you stumble or get lost. To make sure you always bleed Yankee blue and forever stay true to those “Boys in Blue”. My daughter, I see your true character though these past hours, you are truly God’s child. My son, I’m so proud of you for being the man He has called you to me. Both of my girls are safe in your hands.
Baby Noel, we will have so many firsts together, just as many as I’ve shared with Abuela. Our home will always be a safe landing place for you when you’re lost and one of wisdom when you’re hungry.
Papa has waited his whole life for you.
I want to take time out to congratulate my daughter Monique and her Wilson Commencement Academy Wildcats teammates on winning the Section 5-City High school Softball championship for here in Rochester, New York. She’s currently a Junior reserve Right-fielder on her Varsity team. It was a great game that ended early by mercy rule as they won by 15 runs, with an inning and a half left to play. There are some exceptional athletes on her team, some have received Division 1 scholarship offers to various schools, some haven’t as of yet and some probably never will. Either way, they always play as a team and are supportive of each other. When you watch them play there is life in the group, they respect what each other brings to the table and no one player is more important than the other. There’s an innocence in youth sports when we allow kids to play simply for the love of playing… either with their friends, for the competition or to try and make a career out of it. When adults get involved… it all starts to get sort of tainted and the innocence starts to get lost.
Yesterday I watched a group of young ladies jumping up and down grasping a huge trophy, passing it to one another, taking pictures with it and then it happened. One parent decided that they needed to point out that their daughter reached a personal statistical milestone for the season during the game and they were holding the ball that she did it with. We were all suppose to stop taking pictures, celebrating with each other, high-fiving each other, rolling around on the ground with each other to listen to how, in that moment, one person was more important than the collective team. Thankfully, all the parents continued to snap pictures, the girls kept cheering and rolling around on the ground celebrating… including this parent’s own daughter. The parent was left clutching a ball that only meant something to them. To her credit, this young lady is a heck of an athlete and I love watching her play and she will go on to greater things if she can remain focused and not be jaded by her parent’s efforts to make her more important than her teammates. Being a life-long athlete myself, I’ve always seen the parents who selfishly try to “fix” their own past failures by living through their children. I will say right here and right now, no matter what stats I put up as a baseball player through my life, no matter who scouted me or recruited me… my daughter has forever surpassed me as a the better family athlete. And honestly, I’m perfectly okay with that. She’s a “Champion” and she earned it… with her teammates and through her own effort and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Parent’s… we’ve had our time and unfortunately many of us are not retired major leaguers or headed for the Hall of Fame for any organized activity… except parenting. The next time you’re at your child’s game, think about how you felt when your dad yelled at the ref when a bad call was made against you or when your coach asked you to please tell your dad to calm down at games. Being that kid is not a good feeling. Let the kids be kids and let the game be the game. It would be great if we could represent our children the way that we ask them to represent us when they’re not around us.