Sunday was a day to honor all fathers and I hope all of you dads out there had a great day.
I had the opportunity to spend Saturday with my father and when I go home it always brings back a lot of memories.
As I look back, there are a lot of things I did with my children that I learned growing up.
I love being a father and a grandfather. I tell everybody I know to take advantage of every second you can with your children.
Jody and I spent a lot of time over the years at Junior Olympic volleyball tournaments. That meant a lot of time and money traveling around the state and country.
I could always tell early on what fathers wanted to be there and which ones didn’t.
We were lucky with a lot of good teams and parents. Many times the parents had more fun that the players.
I remember one tournament when a father showed up with video equipment and all kinds of excitement. It was obvious it was his first tournament. We like to say a J.O. tournament is a marathon and not a sprint. You can’t be in a hurry.
This guy took video of all his daughter’s matches and when pool play was over, he started packing up. “Where you going,” we asked him. “Home,” he said with a big smile.
Then we had to break the news to him. Once pool play is over, you go into the tournament and play until you lose. And when you do lose, you have to stick around so the players can referee the next match.
At that point J.O. volleyball was not fun for that guy. I used to see a lot of fathers who would rather have been out golfing than watching their daughters. I always thought to myself they have the rest of their lives to golf. You only have so much time with your children growing up.
I always tell people you have to spend time with your children — sometimes more than you want to — because before you know it, they grow up and are gone.
When you are sitting at the VFW tonight watching your son or daughter playing in the Lefty Grove League, enjoy it. Why? Because that’s what we do. When you are hauling your children to practice and games and to their friends, enjoy it. Again, because that’s what we do.
Some of my best memories with our three daughters came watching all of their games with my father-in-law, Charles Mushett. He always rode shotgun while the women rode in the back. He was a great fan of the girls and he loved the St. Paul Flyers.
I remember we would all pack into our van and head down to Jacobs Field to watch the Indians. We were part of that 455-game sellout streak.
I remember going to Cleveland Stadium with my grandfather to watch the Cleveland Indians, long before they were ever good. Jordan and I were lucky enough to be at the second-to-last game played in the old ballpark.
I have thousands of memories. And, like my shirt says, I have been promoted to grandpa.
I hope to make thousands of more memories.
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]