I thought I was handling this whole “moving to the other side of the world” thing pretty well. Throughout this year-long process there have been moments here and there where it has been hard, but overall I haven’t had any BIG moments of grief. You may be surprised to see me use the word grief, but it fits. Grief doesn’t just happen when we lose someone, it comes when we experience any type of loss.
One source of grief came unexpectedly for me. It started a month ago when we took our boys to a minor league baseball game. Or as Rush says, “a Go Knights baseball game!” Rush loves the Go Knights baseball team. We went to several games last year and he has never forgotten the experience. This was Finn’s first game and I can now say that he officially LOVES baseball. The kid could not stop talking about it. Even today he asked me to watch baseball. I will find a video on ESPN just so he can watch a highlight or two.
So what is the source of grief for me? Baseball. Not necessarily playing or watching baseball, but simply the presence of baseball in Rush and Finn’s life. The thought started that night after the game as I was driving home. I realized that baseball games would be replaced with soccer matches or even something we have never heard of like Sepak Takraw (please google it and check it out). Then last week I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods with Rush and he did this.
That’s when I realized, “Rush and Finn will probably never play tee ball.” It doesn’t seem like a huge revelation, but it is a reality that I had not grieved yet. Baseball was a big part of my life as a kid. Some of my fondest memories growing up happened on a baseball field. I would venture to say that for a lot of dads with kids in the United States, tee ball is part of their plan. I didn’t realize it, but tee ball was something I looked forward to having our boys experience. I even looked forward to the day I could be a tee ball coach. Yet, I need to let that idea go like so many other things we have had to let go of this year.
It would be easy say, “I am sure we can find tee ball in Thailand.” That is a fair assumption, but it isn’t a guarantee. It also isn’t a necessity. Like many things that we have let go of this year, baseball is something that we enjoy and have at our disposal but not an essential to our well-being. It just means that baseball won’t have the same role for Rush and Finn as it did for me. So I grieve it like many other things in this process.
The truth is that we all have subconscious plans and expectations for our own lives and the lives of our kids. Most of the frustration or disappointment we experience comes because there is a gap between our expectations and the realities of life. This process of going has helped bring to the surface some of those things and teach me to hold them loosely as God writes our story.