I’m a grandpa, 10 times over, and watching my grandchildren compete in sports is a perennial personal dilemma.
Sports have a history in our family. My dad played high school football as did I, plus I also played basketball. Four of my 5 children participated in sports, and, so far, 6 of my 10 grandchildren are into sports activities. The other four are pre-school age, but, when the time comes, I’m sure they, too, will join the family sports club.
I live within twenty-five miles of five of my school-aged grandchildren, thus I attend many athletic events. In a calendar year, I’ll watch football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball games, not to mention wrestling matches. But, overall, my comprehension level of each is only enough to make me dangerous.
Therein lays my dilemma.
My grandkids are at different levels of proficiency in their chosen sports, from beginners to a starting quarterback. Unfortunately, for them, in my opinion, this particular grandpa harbors good, solid, pertinent ideas that would improve their individual game efficiency.
But, it’s been over fifty years since this particular grandpa associated with any sport more strenuous than ping pong, and they know it. So, any suggestion I’d make they’d deposit into the suggestion box marked “ancient history.”
How come? It’s not my fault the games regressed over the years. I can’t help it I only played during daylight hours because light bulbs were not yet invented.
Thus, with them, my only claim to pertinence is that I babysat them, changed their diapers, read to them, we played catch, and I’ve purchased all sorts of popcorn, cookies, or whatever fundraiser they were selling.
Most of my immediate next of kin doesn’t realize the multiple projections I have while I watch their children perform. It’s like mental double or triple vision. Sometimes, I’ll remember similar situations from my era. Other times, I’ll recall their younger moms or dads playing the game. Then, too, I’ll see them through the tired eyes of a senior citizen. But, I always see them with the twenty-twenty vision of a grandpa who loves his grandchildren very much.
Nevertheless, at times, the best post game conversations occur days after a game. My oldest granddaughter may drop in to help me clean house, Depending on the season, my oldest grandson may show up to mow my yard or shovel my sidewalk.
I’ll say, “Good game the other night, you looked comfortable and at ease.”
They’ll say, “Thank you, Grandpa, glad you were able to make it.”
A brief exchange, but the love flows from our respective hearts. I can’t wait until the next game, even though I’ll be keeping my suggestions to myself.