A Trip with My Son to See Grown Men Cry…

My last post talked about the need to get away with your spouse for extended 1-on-1 time and how this can be good for you as a couple and your kids. You can read the full post here.

Flipping that around, I believe it is very positive to create special occasions where you spend 1-on-1 times with each of your kids. Coincidentally this would also create absence for a short time from your spouse–and they do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder……hopefully!

A week after getting back from the trip Rachel and I took to Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity to have one of these experiences with my son Christian. On this particular experience we had the unique privilege of seeing a host of grown men cry. Let me explain.

I have the privilege to work at my alma mater, Indiana Wesleyan University. On a Saturday afternoon just over 2 weeks ago we watched in anticipation as our men’s basketball team won their elite 8 game in the NAIA national tournament and would be heading to the program’s first ever final four. That day a good friend who also works at the university, Roger Alcock, and I decided we would make the 500+ mile drive to Branson, MO the next day to watch the semifinal game on Monday. I decided this without first checking with Rachel! Thankfully she was fine with me leaving for a few days on one condition—-I take our 5 year old son with us. At first I was apprehensive…but then I realized what a great memory making opportunity this would be for me and my son!

Christian’s best buddy, Jace, is the son of the men’s basketball team coach, Greg Tonagel, so Christian was more than a little excited to go and spend some time with his friend.

Christian sleeping in the back of the car on the way to Branson.

Christian sleeping in the back of the car on the way to Branson.

Fast forward a little bit—we had a good trip. We got to do some fun things in Branson and stay with amazing friends, Joel and Morgan Trainer, who were way more than hospitable. Then we got to witness our men’s team win their semifinal game by more than 20 points!

I don’t know what it is about men and sports. Like the final scene in Field of Dreams, which I’ve referenced before, why do we get choked up over “having a catch” with dad? Maybe that’s it. Maybe playing catch, shooting hoops, or tossing a football remind men of times when they first began to connect to their dads as little boys. For many little boys, sports may be the only time they saw their dad show a hint of pride towards them. For many, the simple act of throwing a football back and forth is easier than saying the words ‘I love you,’ yet it means the same thing.

On Tuesday night, Christian and I had the opportunity to see our men’s team win their 1st national championship and then see players, coaches, fathers, and sons cry in each other’s arms. Was it a momentus event? Absolutely! But I don’t think it was this single accomplishment that made these sons and fathers (and a lot of moms too) cry. I believe it was years of investment all culminating to this single event. I’m sure the dads were watching their sons and picturing the hours upon hours of them shooting in the driveway and the endless 1-on-1 matchups that eventually led to the day where father could no longer defeat son. I saw the many tears, shed some of my own, and cherished the privilege of sharing this with my son. May I get to have many more quality experiences with my children such as this one.



Go Wildcats!!

IWU Men's Basketball after winning the 2014 National Championship.

IWU Men’s Basketball after winning the 2014 National Championship.

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