Over the last weekend, both of our boys played hockey (ice) on different days in different towns. One of them won MOTM and one didn’t. Both worked equally hard and one probably worked a bit harder than the other one. Who do you think won MOTM?
Actually, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they did their best and that their Dad – that would be me – was hugely proud of them.
I have been reading book-snippets recently that have been through the eyes of grown men reflecting on the times their Dad came to see them play their favourite sport. All of them write about how they sometimes won awards, sometimes played badly, sometimes messed up and sometimes felt like the best player on the planet.
Each of them also writes about how their Dad was always there for them.
Always cheering them on.
Always the loudest.
What really struck me was how the love and pride of their Dad – no matter what the outcome - struck a deep, resonate chord with them in later life. MOTM awards come and go. Accolades come and go. Fitness, skill and desire come and go. The most important thing by far was the fact their Dad was ‘there’ for them. Maybe not always physically, but ever present.
The cheers from the previous match still echoed in the next game. The understated, humble congratulation after winning MOTM still ran deep. The hugs and tears and fish & chips after working really hard but losing still brought comfort and confidence. In later life, each and everyone one of those men valued the love and pride of their Dad far more than any award or outcome.
I want to be one of those Dads. I want to be the Dad that is always there, whether that be physically or in their hearts. In life, awards will come and go; accolades will come and go; challenges will come and go. They might win MOTM ten games in a row. What is important is that I am still proud of them when they don’t win it in the eleventh game.
When my sons are grown men, no matter what happens in life, the echoes of my love and pride will still be what they hear in the air.