Charlie and I took a sail on his boat Saturday on Lake Michigan (an actual sailboat…ask him about it sometime).
High winds made for choppy seas so we came in a bit early. As the afternoon sun shrunk over western skies, we popped open a few adult beverages, toasted the season, and talked for a bit.
“What did you think about the season?” Charlie asked.
I paused for a few seconds. I knew what I wanted to say.
“I thought it was great,” I said. “An unexpected joy.”
Saturday was a real physical and mental test. Yes, the boys made the league championship game. Yes, they won two close games just to get there (the semifinal win vs Rockford may be a season highlight). Yes, they did all of it on a really hot day. And yes, they ultimately lost in our league age group title game.
All of this is a good dress rehearsal for adulthood (and they had to meet the challenge without the aid of whiskey or wine).
But when thinking about writing this post over the past few days, the word that kept popping up into my head is this: devotion.
There was Charlie, our head coach, running players in and out, making sure every kid got a chance to play. Not an easy task but Charlie makes it work.
There were the moms, having oranges ready for consumption and making sure the boys were hydrated and at the fields on time.
The dads, offering food and support. Their presence Saturday was awesome to see.
And our boys. Wow. This clip reflects their camaraderie…
They may have believed, but they played lacrosse with with an obedience and fidelity to each other that they aren’t quite old enough to fully comprehend. I hope the time they spent together this spring carries with them as they grow and mature into young men.
So that’s what’s been on my mind these past few days. And that’s what I will remember most about this season. Small acts of devotion from everyone—moms, dads, players, coaches—that add up a youth sports experience that was truly an unexpected joy.
Have a great summer!