This spring I had the amazing opportunity to coach my Son, Seaver’s, Six year old baseball Squad. Try saying that five times fast.
Mr. Contest Chair, fellow toastmasters, friends, and guests
I love being Coach Daddy!
Daddy when do I hit?
Daddy what’s the score?
Daddy what kind of snack do we have after the game?
It is such a challenge teaching a child baseball. I don’t know what is a bigger challenge:
Teaching him baseball or teaching him to read.
Teaching him what an infield fly is or teaching him the silent letter K.
I learned early this year that I could never teach Seaver as much about baseball as he teaches me about life. I remember a play this year that illustrated this for me.
Seaver was playing shortstop (because his dad is the coach). There was a hard hit ball up the middle and he did exactly what we have worked on every day in our front yard. He moved to his left, spread his legs, dropped his bottom, put his glove on the ground, and his nose on the ball. But at the last minute the ball hit a rock and
(Smack my forehead)
Down went Seaver!
I rushed over to attend to him and after dusting him off he said something quite profound, “Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Once he settled down he said something even more profound. “Daddy I’m OK, I can go play”, and Seaver moved on! Rather than living in the tragedy of the accident Seaver decided to embrace his future prosperity and he moved on; and I thought WOW (smack my forehead), I could have used that attitude a few months earlier.
January 8, 2009, 2:00 pm sharp! I strolled into my sales manager’s office for my annual review. We were coming off a 2009 where we had broken records for number of units sold and revenue generated. I thought I was coming in for a high-five, a pat on the back, and possibly the keys to a BRAND NEW CAR! But at 2:15 pm I left the office with a swift kick in the assets; “Stevie you are no longer needed”. And I joined your friends and family and maybe even you in the nation’s ever growing unemployed population. And faced with this tragedy I responded as we all would.
I raced home and posted my resume on that monstrously monstrous website and waited for the phone to ring. But it never rang.
And I went to the unemployment office to file for benefits and stood in a line a mile long.
And I did the thing that we all do in this digital age when we face tragedy. I went home and updated my facebook status: “Stevie just lost his job, this economy stinks!” Send
I did everything I had to do, but I neglected to do the one thing I needed to do. I didn’t move on. I decided to stay in the tragedy of the incident rather that embrace my futures prosperity and I didn’t move on, and truth be told many of us as adults haven’t moved on either.
I understand that at your prom, you bought the tux, the flowers, the dinner, and the limo and she still didn’t like you; you need to move on!
And I understand that your sister made you buy that awful wedding dress for a wedding that you didn’t want to go too, to a guy that you didn’t like, for a marriage that didn’t even last; you need to move on!
And I understand that you have lost friends much too soon and too tragically. And I am not asking you to forget about them, I’m simply asking you to move on past that tragedy.
This baseball season didn’t end the way we wanted. We lost our final three baseball games and I hate loosing. Following that final out my six year old philosopher illustrated this fact for me again. “Daddy its OK, we’ll get them next year. And football season starts next week” (smack my forehead) and Seaver moved on!
Just like when Seaver falls off his bike (smack). Seaver moves on.
Just like when Seaver has a bad day at school (smack). Seaver moves on.
And just like when Seaver realized that Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana are the same person (smack). Seaver moves on.
At some point soon we will all face some tragedy. And when it happens we may cry, stomp, pull your hair out, fuss, cry, struggle, and feel hopeless. I know that when this happens to me, I can turn to my little six year old genius for his simple words of wisdom:
“Daddy I love you! Move on!”
Thanks buddy, love you too!
Mr. Contest chair