When my son Robey was ten years old we were finishing up the Optimist Soccer season. I was standing on the sidelines with half-a-dozen other dads and we were talking about “What’s next.”
“Which baseball league did you sign Robey up for, Cooper City or Pembroke Pines?” was the big question.
When it got to me I said, “Neither.”
“Did you find a better one or are you doing travel soccer?”
Once again I responded with “neither” and then said, “We’re going home. We play one sport a year.” Trying to defend my masculinity I continued with, “I love sports…played sports in high school, but there are other things I need to do with Robey other than sports.”
They were shocked! I think some even thought they should call the child abuse hotline.
The next week one of the men called me to ask, “If you aren’t signing Robey up for baseball what are you going to do with him?”
I told him we had already gone to buy a model of an aircraft carrier … 300 pieces. We were going to spend our Tuesday evenings sitting at a table putting it together. I needed to see if following the directions and putting it together was something he enjoyed and was good at.
Was he an engineer in the making?
Most of all we got to spend the time talking. Is he an engineer today? No, he’s a pastor of a church. Did we love the making the ship. Yes but we also put it in a lake and blew it up with a cherry bomb when we were done.
The lasting lesson was that we spent time every Tuesday night talking. We made the time to talk by making the time to put a model together and saying no to the next popular event on the agenda.