Interrupted yes, but finished? Never!
Mornings are crisp.
Leaves are red.
Baseball is over, at least for most teams.
And, for only the second time my son and I were unable to execute our annual summer baseball trip. It's not that he grew out of it, but more a case of adulthood getting in the way of a father/son tradition we have no intention of ending.
Matt graduated this past spring from Marquette University and worked through the summer at OnMilwaukee.com, I use the term "worked" loosely. He reviewed movies, which are his passion, and he did it well enough to land himself fulltime status. In the course of all that, the season slipped by and before we knew it, we were out of baseball.
Life does that.
Mom and Dad couldn't be happier about their son finding gainful employment so soon after school--everyone has horror stories about newly minted grads clinging to part time positions or internships in hopes they'll morph into 40 hour a week situations. When you're in school, no matter what the level, summer means a break amid the promise of classes resuming in the fall. When you're handed a college diploma, summer is the welcome mat at the doorstep of the rest of your life. Big kids have to make big kid choices and priorities have to be set. It couldn't have worked out better.
That's my son, circa 2005, in the seats at the minor league park in Lexington, Kentucky. He was 15, and I was trying to be photographically artsy. Of all the miles we've shared and games we've watched, this photo seems to best capture the essence of our journeys. A ballpark. A scorecard. A sunset. A father and his sun. If you haven't created an "appointment" like this with your children, I highly recommend it. It doesn't matter how long it lasts and it certainly doesn't have to be expensive. To set aside time to do something special at a set time with your child gives you a chance to bond and the opportunity to find new experiences.
It's those memories you take with you when life happens and that routine, for whatever reason, gets interrupted. I had ours to get me through this past summer. Their value reminds me just how much we have to get back at it in 2014.
Mornings are crisp. Leaves are red. Baseball is over, at least for most teams. But it's not done yet for the Mueller men who will be darkening some box seats again somewhere next summer.
That's a promise that'll get me through the winter.