(The following passage was included as part of the monthly newsletter that I send out to the parents of my school community.)
It is no secret that I enjoy sports, mostly baseball, and that I have always been a big fan of the New York Yankees. There is something about baseball that resonates with me. The ebb and flow of the game, the simplicity, the day-to-day consistency… Like a good friend, from April through September, baseball is a constant companion. I love it.
One of the big stories that has come out of this year’s baseball season has been the fact that a rookie on the New York Yankees, a certain Aaron Judge, recently set the record for the most home runs ever hit in one’s first season. No player had ever hit 50 home runs as a rookie until Aaron Judge accomplished that feat. Amazing.
And yet… as I read articles and hear sports talk about Aaron Judge, and the Yankees, in addition to the celebratory nature of some comments, I also see and hear criticism and worry. I hear a lot of complaints: “He strikes out too much,” “He didn’t hit that well in August,” and, amazingly, “He might never do this well again.” There are also throngs of anxious Yankees fans worrying about the playoffs, the off season, and even next season.
All of this got me thinking…
Why can’t we just enjoy the moment?
To me, there is something sad that amidst the celebration of a player doing something that no player has ever accomplished, that we’re focusing on what might be… tomorrow or next year. I think when we do this, we lose sight of today.
If we do this with sports, that’s one thing, but think we often do this with our own lives, and even more with our children. There are times when we’re always looking to the next thing or the next year and forgetting to relish and enjoy and savor the moments that are now.
Childhood is a most wonderful and special time. When children first learn to do many of the wonderful things in life, from walking and talking to riding a bike or throwing and catching a ball, like Yankees fans today with Aaron Judge, we start looking to the next things. As children start reading we wonder how quickly they can zoom past the various reading levels. When they learn addition, we start pushing them to start to multiply as well. In essence we say, “I know you did this, but can you do that?”
Our children grow up too quickly. As they grow, sometimes we forget to enjoy the moments and all of the little accomplishments along the way. We fast forward to the next thing. And when we do all of this, we lose a little bit of the present. We lose moments and times that can never come back again.
Aaron Judge might never hit this well again. Instead of focusing on what might be, instead I think we should focus on what is. Aaron Judge has enjoyed a very special season. Let’s leave it at that. With our children, let’s also focus on what is now. Make the time to celebrate their “right now” moments. Make the time to play a game or read a book together. Make the time to sing or dance and to laugh and play. Relish in the joy and magic and wonder that is your child’s childhood. It only comes once and it passes far too quickly.
Tomorrow will come, but before it does, find the ways to celebrate today.