I’ve heard so many men, including some good friends of mine, say that they didn’t spend enough time with their kids while they were growing up because they were so focused on their career. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a tragedy of epic proportions.
One of the things I am proudest of in my life is that I have no regrets about how much time I spent with my daughter, Erin. The many happy times we shared, and the knowledge that she felt—and still feels at 29—unconditionally loved and cherished, is far more valuable than the big bank account I might have had if I had been more focused on making money instead of memories.
Here’s a piece I wrote a while back that speaks to the joy of being the dad of the best girl in the world.
ONE MORE PITCH
From the day she was born, I looked forward to taking her to baseball games like my father took me, but she never cared much for the games, even when a player in the bullpen would trot over and hand her a real baseball, which happened twice—which never happened to me when I was a kid, but then I wasn’t a cute little girl with tons of freckles and a smile that would make your heart stop. Well, yes, she did ask to go to a game now and then, but only for the hot dogs and frosty malts, so once or twice every season we’d go and she’d sit on my lap and I’d hold her tight and explain every play to her and she’d humor me by listening for a while but we’d always leave by the fifth inning because she was bored and wanted to go home.
No, she never enjoyed watching but, oh, how she loved to play. Every April, before it really warmed up, she’d ask me to pitch to her, so I would dig through the closet until I found the bat and ball, and we’d put on our jackets and we’d go out and play in the cool night air. And, even though she had homework to do and she hadn’t practiced her piano lesson yet and it was getting late, I’d tell her to swing hard and keep her eye on the ball, and I’d pitch to her again, nice and slow, and right over the middle of the plate. And, finally, when it was getting a little too chilly and a little too dark, I’d say it was time to go in, and she’d say,
“One more. Please, Daddy. One more.”
And so I would pitch to her again, and another line drive would whistle by my head, spinning me around, and she’d circle the bases, giggling, and I would chase the plastic ball as it rolled down the sidewalk, and when I picked it up, she’d already be standing at the tree we used for home plate, her cheeks pink from the fresh air, her ponytail dancing softly in the wind, and she’d be grinning as she picked up the bat and I could see the laughter in her eyes.
And now, whenever I go to a game, I buy a hot dog as soon as I sit down and I eat it slowly, mustard only, the way she liked it, and I lean back and forget about everything else and I watch the game. It feels so comfortable, like spending the afternoon with an old friend, and I smile when I think of her rounding the bases and I’m glad that I taught her that there’s always time for one more pitch.
Click here to watch One More Pitch: The Music Video, a song I wrote to celebrate Erin’s childhood and the joy of our Daddy and Erin times together.
Click here to view all my baseball-related posts.
Click here to view all my posts about parenting.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
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• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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