It’s not easy raising children, especially if you want to live vicariously through them. I’ve tried hard to be the type of father who will support his kids no matter what, but they always seem to choose the wrong hobbies and sports. I have no choice but to be more “proactive” and help my children help me reach my potential as a father.
One of the “musts” on my list is running. I won’t bore you with all of my achievements as a youngster, but let’s just say "Scott Brown" and "Olympics" were used in the same sentence more than once. Just ask my mother. Or my grandmother. The talk sort of died down when I turned twelve and other kids became faster, but there were still a few whisperings here and there.
Can you believe my oldest son refuses to run? Just to tease me he joined the high school track team and, get this, he’s pole vaulting. I begged him to try the 200 … or the 400 … or the 800. Anything! And he did. Once. That’s it. He did pretty good, but apparently he didn’t like it or it interferes with his pole vaulting, or something like that.
I get it. I really do. I live in Arizona and the temperature is like a million degrees from April to October. Those aren’t the best running conditions. But it’s usually cool at 4:00 a.m. (except June to September), so it is a weak excuse.
Here’s hoping that one of my remaining five children will fall in love with running.
Another “must” is football. It’s not that complicated, really. Run and play football; reach your potential in both sports; and then do whatever else you want. That’s my philosophy as a father.
It’s hard to be American and not love football. Most men can’t help but wonder which of their sons will someday play in college and then the NFL. Most moms I’ve seen at youth tackle football games feel the same about their son. Dads understand the violence of the game and that it’s good for their sons to get “popped” every once in a while. Moms don’t. They take a “pop” against their son personally, while, at the same time, screaming at their son to “hurt someone.” It’s awesome. I can’t get enough of it. I can hardly wait for Saturdays during the fall.
Beats me why my oldest son decided not to play high school football. And why my second oldest son took two years off from tackle football. And why my third son won’t play tackle this fall.
There’s only one explanation: I’ve failed as a father. Now I must force the issue with my sons before someone questions my patriotism.
Oh, one more sport. Would it be too much to ask for one of my children to ride in the Tour de France some day? And win it? After all, I have been a fan and big supporter of the sport for many years. It’s only just. It is my due.
After that, they can do whatever they want.