My son rushes to get his shoes on. My dad getting his on as well. My dad’s body aches, but he makes his best effort to make his grandson happy. My son’s smile lights up – It’s a real game now! The orange cones are out and the soccer ball on my son’s side. The trash talk begins and so does the laughter. My dad needs a little oil for the knees, but he continues for a 10 point game. My son is sweating during such a hard challenge, but then he comes out in the end with a victory! It was such a close game. They hugged in sportsmanship and love. I watched all of this from the sidelines with a nostalgic mind.
Many years ago, this was my yard. It was my dad, my brothers, myself and quite often the neighborhood children playing in this yard. We played many different sports, such as soccer, basketball, baseball with using tennis balls and tag football. There were not many days that we didn’t go outside. This yard is where I spent most of my time. It held many firsts for me. It was where I learned to play sports, it’s where I flew my first kite, it’s where I learned to ride my first bike,where I made my first snowman, it’s where I made my first mud pie, and where I developed my first friendships that now have long disconnected.
There always seemed to be a warm presence about that yard. It was always a place to go, a haven in some ways. It was magical that it brought all of the children in the neighborhood together. Even if we had differences, we always played reciprocal. However, a lot of times they came over, because my dad would play with them. He was the cool dad that always tried to be funny, play and give advice if needed. I guess I had inherited that trait from him, as explained in one of my recent blogs, Your “playground”.
Then, there comes that time where the passing of moments slip by without even realizing they’re gone. The neighborhood children don’t visit anymore. No more mud pies, no more bike rides, and no more playing sports in the back yard. The yard is there, but it’s vacant. The twigs that we had once planted are now 24 year old trees and have become taller than the house. The grass gets maintained and the leaves fall, but there is no one to enjoy it’s fond beauty and natural breezes. The yard of so many moments have faded until…
…another kid came to occupy it. Watching my son play in this yard again gives me a sense of peace. His smile is showing me that the yard is warming his heart as well. The joys have returned and playtime has continued. The breeze, the light and the laughter has reminded me of all those days where the sun broke in the morning through my window and after breakfast, my brothers and I ran for the yard. Watching my dad in present time enjoying himself through that old grass reminded me of the times where I enjoyed it with him. Those memories flooding through my mind of me kicking the soccer ball against the fence to get by my opposer, hitting tennis balls with baseball bats accidentally hitting them in the pool, and playing football in the snow so we could tackle. Those are the type of memories I want for my son. I may not have a permanent home for my son, but this will always be his yard as well. No matter where we go or where we live, we will continue to create memories and relive that warming presence. We will continue to return to this yard for it’s love and fun.