Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Old and New

It was a busy weekend at our house.

My younger son had his first football game this weekend, a scrimmage game against another group of eight-year olds from a different city league. The teams shared the playing field with another couple of teams also having a scrimmage, so each team would start at the 35 –yard line and continue until they made a TD. Penalties were called (always against the offense, regardless of team), but no yardage was ever marked off. Downs were tracked, but there were no chains to move. My son’s team dominated the first half. The other team did better in the second. Somebody asked me the score when it was all over. I guesstimated it at 22-16 in favor of my son’s team. At the pro and collegiate level, there would have been a post game discussion on how well the players did. Here, the post game featured mothers from each side swapping last minute suggestions about good prices and locations on hard-to-find school supplies.

Sunday, my older son was up for the beginning of his sporting fall with baseball tryouts. He moved up to the Pony League this season, requiring a bigger bat. Unfortunately, the “Big Barrel” bats required for the league are in short supply in the fall, making what is a $40-$50 spring purchase into a $170-$200 fall purchase minimum. Thankfully, there’s Play It Again Sports nearby. We found a bat that was used in name only and counted our blessings. The bat was heavier than the ones he used previously and will prove to be a good intermediate bat to use until he goes to high school. Still, it was heavy for him now. However, he choked up on it and had probably his best tryout ever.

So what does this have to do with Old and New.

On Sunday afternoon, we began cleaning the basement. It was a long overdue mission. There’s a lot of junk down there that needs to be tossed, things like memorabilia that might have been important 20 years ago but not so much now. But how do you decide what to throw away. We developed a rule of thumb. If it’s hard to explain now, it will be worse in the future. Toss it.

But among the items we found were pictures of me and the sports team I played on when I was my sons’ ages. I had baseball, football, and basketball shots. By age 13, the age of my older son, I’d already given up baseball. However, at age 8, I was definitely playing football. My kids thought the pictures were funny. I did, too.

Sometimes, when my kids are grown up and out on their own, hopefully it will be important to them to save their team picture moments. And maybe, when the time comes and they’re in their houses cleaning out their basements, they can laugh with their kids, too.

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