Baseball season is gearing up with the major league teams already into spring training. Every year, at this time, I think back to all of the years I spent on a baseball field with my oldest son, Brandon. If you haven’t already, please read the article I wrote in 1997, My Boy of Summer. The emotions of the season were strong when I wrote it and they still stand strong.
Several readers have requested an update on Brandon, so here it is. Brandon played baseball for most of his college career. He decided to stop playing in his junior year in order to focus on his degree and to work towards marrying Marie, the girl of his dreams. I’ll never forget the day when he called me and said, “Mom, are you sitting down?” His voice was full of emotion as he continued, “I’ve decided to quit playing baseball. I want to graduate and to marry Marie. I never thought I’d say this, but my priorities have completely changed and baseball isn’t at the top of my list any longer. I’ll always love it but I need to get on with my life.”
WOW, I thought. I was so proud of this mature and responsible young man who had realized that his life’s dream had to be set aside because he had grown and, with this growth, had realized new dreams, bigger dreams.
I am happy to report that Brandon, as no surprise to me, went after these new dreams with the same tenacity and resolution that had towards baseball. He became a very successful businessman who has received numerous awards and recognitions in his industry. He and Marie did marry and they are a beautiful and happy couple. In addition he has blessed me with two beautiful granddaughters; he is a FANTASTIC father.
So is baseball still a big part of his life? You bet it is! He is, and will forever be, a HUGE Texas Rangers fan. If he misses a game it is only because he can’t control the situation and he attends as many games in person as possible.
A beautiful tradition has evolved from his love of baseball. For the last two years Brandon has taken his oldest daughter, McKinley, to opening day for the Rangers. It’s been just the two of them going out for a special Daddy/Daughter date day and they have a great time.
McKinley can talk baseball with the best of them and she is only four years old. This absolutely cracks me up but comes as no surprise; her Daddy loves the game and so does she.
This year I’ll be attending opening day with them and I can’t wait! The tradition continues but this time my role with be different; this time I’ll be going as Née Née and I’ll be holding McKinley’s hand instead of Brandon’s.
No doubt, this trip to the ballpark will take me back to the time when I took Brandon to his first Texas Ranger game when he was around eight years old. I’ll never forget walking up the ramp towards our seats and seeing the field come into view for the first time. It was a beautiful sight for me but, more importantly, it literally took Brandon’s breath away. I’ll never forget hearing him gasp and watching him as his eyes opened with amazement.
At that very moment his life’s dream, his total passion up to that point, became a reality right before his eyes. Almost magically all of the people … all of the noise … everything … it all disappeared … it all stood still. There was nobody but my little boy and me, his hand in mine, staring in awe at this beautiful sight.
Thank God for baseball and
Thank God for little boys!