Chapters in Life
What life chapters have you been writing? One chapter I would like to share took place a few years back. It was the day my youngest son left to go play college football. It was the same day my wife and I realized there would be no more children at home.
No more Football
My wife and I had been looking forward to the day we would have our lives back. No more running to this practice and that practice. No more school meetings or private school tuition. No more Friday nights at the football field followed by dinner in the local diner. No more pestering about homework. We thought life would be grand. I remember telling my wife how much fun we were going to have. How much of our time we would be getting back.
I remember vividly that last game. It was at the state finals and we had just lost. I remember how I felt – I wanted to cry. I would learn quickly that I would miss it all. I remember how proud my wife and I felt when our son received a scholarship to play college football. We were so proud; he would be the first in the family to play college football. But, I felt terrible inside. I will never forget the day my wife and I pulled away from the dorm. I remember thinking my life as I have known it to this point will never again be the same. I felt the same way when our oldest finished his last football game and when our daughter ran her last cross country race. When my youngest child left his life changed and so did mine.
What’s interesting is I had been preparing him for this event. Long hard days of practice and camps but never even gave it a thought that dad needed to prepare himself for the day his youngest child would leave for college. It took time to overcome. The year after he left I worked with his old team, taking pictures of the game at every game. I no longer wanted to coach but I still felt connected to the team.
Not all Bad
The ending is not all that bad. My wife and I have grown. Unbeknownst to me, I had gone through a life chapter with its full glory. I worked through the lost feeling I had from no longer being at the field or in the field house – there is life after football. My wife and I now travel more. A sense of stability has returned to my life. I have gone full circle.
Change happens to everyone and most times comes unexpectedly. What have you done to prepare yourself for life changes that may come your way? I have come to realize that life is really just a series of stability, instability, change and transition states which bring you back to a new beginning. Knowing this has made the thought of dealing with the next set of life challenges much easier to accept.