Anyone will tell you that playing sports is fun and exciting. Whether it is the screams of a large crowd or a game of catch in the front yard…it is time spent with the ones you love, the feeling of achievement, and the thrill of competition. Anyone will also tell you that playing sports takes dedication and commitment. Playing sports well takes hard work, persistence, and strive. These characteristics, as children, don’t come easily or naturally; however, they tend to prove vital in every aspect of our lives to come.
The truth is that sports teach us many valuable lessons both great and small. They teach us how to work together and what it means to be a part of something more than yourself. Some lessons are hard to swallow and some are learned in fun, but all are made the more clear by the fathers who guide us through them. It is the fathers, the ones who helped bring us into this world or who came along later and wanted to see us thrive in it, who are the champions deserving of trophies and metals. They are the ones who see us at our best… and at our worst. The ones always proud, sometimes boasting, and ever fiercely loyal no matter the score. The ones we look to for support and a safe place for our glories as well as our disappointments. They love, encourage, and criticize showing us the importance of loyalty to a team, faith in others, to always cheer for and never against, and that it’s okay to fall or miss or even fail. They are the voice in that crowd we most like to hear and the ones we turn to for affirmation. Looking back they are the ones whose time mattered most and whose support and interest translated to love and value.
So now, of course we remember the home runs and grand finales, but we cherish the high fives rounding 3rd and the enthusiastic waves from center stage. We want to thank you, our fathers, thank you for the wonderful fall nights and lasting memories, but also for the strength and opportunity to know victory in the future. Thank you for these gifts…because you realized when we did not that it is not the final outcome that defines us but the person we have become once there.
Painting 52 was designed to capture a special memory between father and son after a big game.