Archive for Monday, November 11, 2013

Time flies when raising children, grandchildren

November 11, 2013

The lyrics of the song from “Fiddler on the Roof”: “Sunrise, Sunset, how quickly the days pass,” rolled through my mind as I sat in the church watching the wedding of my grandson, Zach Holder, and Nancy DeLeon. Suddenly, I felt very old as I reflected on Zach and how much I had enjoyed being part of his life. I watched as he grew from a quiet, shy child to a tall, confident young man.

I felt joy, too, knowing that he was embarking on another phase: “the rest of his life.” He married his best friend, a beautiful and talented young woman, and I see a great future ahead for them.

I have so many great memories, like the time I took him to his first major league baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Then I remembered all of the games we had attended over the years. Zach quipped one time that I had taken him and his brother Andrew to so many games and the day would come when they would take me. That day has come – I still supply the tickets but they drive.

I am proud that he became an Eagle Scout, although I admit I had to resort to a minor bribe to make sure he finished. I bought two tickets to a Chiefs game at a charity auction and told him if he had finished his Eagle, he would accompany me to the game. Needless to say, he did finish his work, and I had the pleasure of being one of his merit badge counselors.

Probably what I enjoy most was serving as his Kerry Roberts basketball coach for his fourth, fifth and sixth grade years. I had the great opportunity to meet some fine young men and to rekindle my love of coaching kids’ sports. I am sure the late John Johnson and I were, by far, the oldest coaches in the history of the league. Yes, we won our division the last year I coached, and what really made me feel old was seeing several of the players at the wedding. At least three of the team members are married.

Zach is a great sports fan and sports trivia buff. If you wanted to know something about major league baseball, KU or the Chiefs, just ask Zach. He is a graduate of Kansas University and bleeds crimson and blue.

There are so many other exciting times I remember. When I was writing sports, he attended a lot of games with me, which was fun. Zach was an original batboy for the T-Bones, and I attended lots of games and picked him up after the game was over. He also had an internship with the T-Bones, the Wizards (before they changed their name) and Baker University. While he was always a determined sports lover, in the final analysis he used his degree to enter business. While he isn’t working in the athletic industry, I know he will always be a sports lover.

Incidentally, Nancy is a big baseball and basketball fan. We’ve even accepted the fact that she’s an ardent California Angels booster. Nancy is a wonderful addition to our family. This is just the first grandchild to get married, and we look forward to many more wonderful weddings in the future.

I think that one message stands out to me: Time flies by. One day you are helping a youngster learn to walk and almost the next day, they are moving into adulthood. I know that I’ve enjoyed watching all my grandchildren as they grow up. Take the time to enjoy your children or grandchildren’s activities and achievements because time passes very, very quickly and before you know it, they are adults.

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