I’m beginning to realize that I’m a slow learner. During, and right after, the Covid shutdown I made a few different comments about it being a learning experience for everyone. It should have served as a reminder for us to slow down. And for a while, it did. But just like with so many other things time passed and I forgot. It actually didn’t take much time to slide right back into the busy schedule that I warned against. Pretty much from the time that the majority of us stopped wearing masks (some are still drinking the kool aid) I returned to doing almost exactly what I was doing before the shutdown. The only difference is that I added even more to my schedule.
June is quite possibly the busiest month of the year for me. There are all-star games, camps, and the dreaded travel ball showcases. Not to mention, putting the finishing touches on our roster for next season. That task takes longer than it used to due to the Major League Baseball draft being pushed back to July. A lot of players have always been reluctant to sign with a four-year college until after the draft. In the past, the draft was in the early parts of June, so by the end of the month you had a pretty good idea of what your roster would look like. This process now drags out all through June and into parts of July. Some years, this being one of them, we also have to wait until the draft is complete to see what all we are going to lose from our roster. All of this, and throw in a family vacation, culminated into an incredibly busy June that spilled over another month.
Knowing that June is always busy, I don’t schedule many fishing trips for the month. I usually save those for July and early August before our players report back to campus. The problem with fishing in late July is the doggone heat. Instead, I’ve opted, for the most part, to wait until cooler weather arrives. Unfortunately, according to the weather experts on social media, the temperature will never cool off, and the glaciers will all melt by the end of the year resulting in half of the eastern seaboard being wiped off the map. I reckon if they are right, fishing will be the least of my worries.
Isn’t it funny how we are supposed to be the ones teaching our children, but how often we actually learn from them? I have my kids to thank for reminding me to slow down for a second (and how slow of a learner I really am). For the last couple of weeks, they’ve been on me to take them fishing. It didn’t have to be anything special, or fancy. They just wanted a few minutes to wet a hook and hang out. For some reason, probably my lack of intellect, I continued to put them off. I’d do work in the yard that could have waited. I’d do something pertaining to baseball that could have waited. I’d flat out blame the heat, even though summer in July has always been hot. I just felt this internal need to do something that I felt was more important. How wrong I was.
You see, during those times when they asked to go fishing, I’d forgotten something. They start back school in July now (a rabbit-hole I could get lost in). Their time to hang out with Dad was fading fast before they were forced back into their busy schedules. Being reminded of this (slow learner), we loaded up the truck and went fishing. We didn’t make any big plans. There wasn’t a lot of packing to be done. Just tossed a couple of poles in the truck, grabbed some bait, and went to the lake.
I have to admit, part of me was dreading the trip while we were driving to the lake. It was so darn hot. Thankfully, by the time we arrived at the lake, afternoon thunderstorms were starting to build and lessen the heat. I helped them bait their hooks, then stood back and just watched them. That’s when it hit me. I’ve wasted an entire month chasing things that didn’t really matter. The longer that I stood there watching them, the angrier I became with myself. There’s not a single player that we signed this summer that couldn’t have waited a couple of days while I spent some time with my children. That grass that just had to be cut at the house? Yep, I could have let it grow all summer long and it wouldn’t have mattered. I’d broken a promise that I’d made to myself during Covid…to slow down and be intentional with my family.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind in this world. Whether you realize it, or not, we are all competing for something, and I LOVE competition. The problem is, the world and that competition, doesn’t love you back, and it will be there tomorrow. And if it isn’t, who cares. So here I am, renewing my vows to myself. I saw a quote the other day that read, “Be where your feet are.” I don’t remember who said it, but it punched me square in the nose. We don’t have much time to spend with our kids before they reach the age where they’d rather do other things. Use it wisely, take them fishing.
And speaking of using your time wisely, bring your kids to the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza this weekend in Pearl, MS. There will be plenty of neat things for them to do, and plenty of cool stuff for you to buy. If you do decide to come, swing by the Pinstripes to Camo booth and say hello! We’d love to meet you and your family!