Father's Day

I spent most of this Father's Day weekend in a funk. I should have seen it coming because it tends to affect me like this every year. Friday morning on the way to work I was listening to my favorite sports radio talk station. They were having callers call in to talk about their favorite sports memories involving their own dads. It was kind of a Father's Day tribute show to dads.

I actually grew up with an awesome dad. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve sports and my dad.

He coached my little league baseball team.

He put a basketball hoop on a telephone pole and managed to find time to play with me every day.

He was a high school basketball coach and from the age of two and up I followed him around the gym all the time.

He coached my high school basketball teams. I got to play on the team that won his 500th game as a coach. We have conflicting memories of that night. I remember having the game-winning assist. He remembers a controversial referee's call on me that almost cost us the game. (I like my memory better and it is my blog after all.)

Some of my favorite times involved the two of us going to University of Tennessee football games together. We have our standard things we do on every trip and I have a boatload of great memories. It's a tradition we've continued until last year when I had to stop because of my foot injury.

So why the funk every year?

Every year at this time I replay those memories in my head and I get a little melancholy and a little sad.

With my son's developmental disabilities and special needs, he and I won't be able to continue those traditions.

We won't go to UT football games together. We won't play basketball in the driveway together. Those opportunities, like so many others I once dreamed of, aren't going to happen. We really can't even watch a game together.

So I can't seem to help but get a little sad at the thought.

With so many limits on what he can actually do, one of my son's favorite activities is swinging on his therapy platform swing.

We have a therapy platform swing mounted from the ceiling in Jon Alex's room, and he loves swinging in it a couple of times a day.

Saturday morning, in the middle of my little pity party that no one but me attended, I went into his room and swung him for the longest time. I made race car sounds and plane noises and whatever sound effects I could make to get him to giggle and smile.

Jon Alex can't talk. Never has. So I did most of the talking. I just talked to him interspersing my sound effects and goofy noises.

He never spoke but he communicated back to me his own way. He loved our time together and showed me at the end by hugging my neck and flashing me his big toothy grin.

And then he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

I'm pausing here to wipe the tears off my keyboard because I cry every time I think about it. It wasn't what we did, or couldn't do together.

We just spent time together.

That's when God spoke to me, reminding me that it's not what I do for him either. He just wants me to spend some time with him, Father to son.

And that's what I should do when I let my emotions affect me like that.

I should spend some time with His Son. I'll do the talking just like with Jon Alex, but He will find a way to communicate with me in His unique ways.

And I'll leave knowing He loves me and that our time together was significant.