It wasn’t a conventional Father’s Day. Not the kind I’d have drawn up.
My daughter left town in the morning, along with my wife.
My son spent 10 hours at the baseball fields, playing three ballgames in Grapevine on what was the second-hottest day of the year.
The three people who made me a Dad were separated from me, one by a chain-link fence and the other two by 600 miles.
Meanwhile, my own Dad — and my Mom, whose birthday was yesterday as well — were having the family over around the pool, and I never made it over there, because baseball didn’t end until close to 10 p.m. and pool parties generally don’t last that long.
But it was a fantastic Father’s Day.
Because my kids were busy following their passion. Pushing themselves, not because they are told to, but because they want to do. Working toward something, individually and as teammates, with focus and reliability and the occasional moment.
That’s about as good as parenthood gets. Right up there, at least.
I don’t think I can properly speak for Carson’s Dad (11 RBI in five games) or Drake’s Dad (four extra-base hits among his 10, and four brilliant innings on the mound) or AJ’s Dad (barrel after barrel after barrel) or Caleb’s Dad (power and speed and presence and zero strikeouts in 14 trips, plus four strikeouts in two innings pitched) or Brady’s Dad (unscored upon on the mound) or Luke’s Dad (17 innings caught, spectacular work in center field, and a huge out in relief to send the semi-finals game to extra innings) or Preston’s Dad (yeoman’s work pressed into emergency duty at shortstop) or Ty’s Dad (eight stolen bases in eight tries), but I suspect that, on the scale of Father’s Days for a man whose son is as committed to the game as these boys are, that was a pretty good one for each of them.
Then there was Garland’s Dad, and I have a pretty good feeling that watching his kid rake a walkoff laser down the line to get the boys to the TSB Super State championship game ranked right up there for Donald, not that there aren’t even bigger moments ahead for that father, and that son.
And as for Brett’s Dad, I’m sure serving on the School Board is super-rewarding, but I can’t imagine how proud he must be of what his kid did in that championship game, entering with the bases loaded and nobody out, stranding all three runners with the first three of his eight punchouts over six dominant innings, setting the tone for the game and putting his teammates on his back without ever letting them off.
This was a different Father’s Day from a baseball standpoint for me than the one I wrote about two years ago, and this time I was proud of Max for different reasons. There were no SportsCenter moments, but he contributed to the team effort to land that trophy and those rings, at the plate and on the mound and on the bases and at third base, and then there was a moment that maybe nobody else noticed, a heady baseball play that makes me appreciate his instincts for the game as much as anything else he offers, and makes me appreciate the coaching that brings that sort of thing to the surface.
Which reminds me of Erica’s own team, and her own “coaches,” and the moments she delivers on stage that fill my heart. She’s in another part of the country today, and was on Father’s Day, too. I’ll be there by week’s end, and I can’t wait.
And now I’m thinking about Adi’s Dad and Megan’s Dad and Trevor’s Dad and Kristen’s Dad and Grant’s Dad and Biddle’s Dad and a couple dozen others, and what a transcendent experience and impact I’m sure we all realize our kids have had these last 10 months with “Heathers The Musical,” an experience that will tangibly culminate at the International Thespian Festival this week but that in many ways will last a lifetime.
For Father’s Day I sat in a foldout chair from morning until late night. Half of my family was out of town. I didn’t get to see my own Dad, or my Mom on her birthday.
I saw far less of my family than I’d like to no matter what weekend it was, let alone the one designed to celebrate being a Dad, and, of far less importance (but inserted as a final nod to those of you who will unsubscribe because today’s entry didn’t work for you), I saw almost none of the Rangers’ series win over the Mariners — because of “Heathers” bringing the house down three straight nights and the Dallas Pelicans bringing home a trophy over Saturday and Sunday.
It wasn’t a conventional Father’s Day.
But it was a great one.