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"I am more of a nostalgic person than I let on. I love history and talking to people about 'the way things used to be.' Last week, my sons found my baby book and were enamored with the fact that I, too, was once a boy. Toward the middle of my book of photographic memories we reached the section where I played Little League baseball and Mighty Might football. In one of the colored pieces of history, I was between two older gentlemen, my grandfathers Dick and Squawk (that was what everyone called him). I don't remember the score of the game, who we played or how many hits I had. But when I saw that picture, it made me pause and think about how many times they came and saw me play. I can still remember going to my grandparents house and seeing a picture of me that was cut out of the local newspaper prominently displayed on their refrigerator. I felt like an all-star. John Lennon once sang, 'Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans.'
This week, my wife and I enrolled my oldest son in preschool at Monett, he turns 5 in December and wants to play soccer and baseball next summer. As I looked at my album the thought occurred to me that I need to be more mindful of what my family and kids are doing now. Our society is one that seems too busy to stop for anyone or anything. I know I find my self using excuses that I am 'too busy.' I am also not saying it was any easier to slow down 25 years ago. After all, Will Rogers once said, 'Things ain't what they used to be and never were.' I was blessed as a child, I can't remember playing any youth sport when I didn't have my parents present. As a father, I want my son to standout and perform well on the field. As a realist, he doesn't have genetics working in his favor. There is one thing I can do, I can be there to support him win or lose, those are lessons that he can be taught. As I have wandered around our city's ball fields, I see that the ideas of family and memories have not faded into nostalgia. I can't wait to have my son stand next to his grandfather after his first game or to see the smile on his face when he gets his very own trophy. I would hope that when that times comes it will be a memory that he'll cherish for a lifetime." - Jared