Monday, May 17, 2010

Take a Step Back...


It was a fantastic weekend in Virginia…no matter the score of the game, the weather or a bad dinner on Sunday evening! We had an opportunity to hang out, catch up and just relax. Seems these moments are becoming fewer and fewer as we get older.

The great college basketball coach Dean Smith once wrote

“If you treat every situation as a life or death matter, you’re going to die a lot of times”

Now for me the past couple of months have foreshadowed something inevitable and I continue to not only wrestle with that but also try to understand it in the grand scheme of things. In the context of Coach Smith’s comment I could just stay locked up in the house 24/7 watching Oprah (I don’t) and re-runs of Sponge Bob (sometimes...)just waiting for my time…but I don’t...not because I can't but because I choose not to!

This weekend was an absolute blessing…and as you may be aware school is winding down and the boys are anxious to get out and start summer activities. In the interim we have to finish Lacrosse season as well. Friday was the start of playoffs for Jake’s Varsity Team at Colonial Forge. Now suffice to say they played a good game that was unfortunately ended early by weather…the scoreboard read 5-2 in favor of the opposition…and that score remained as they called the game 45 minutes later due to lightening. Sitting in the audience, I watched as Jake scored the first goal of the game for his team…but was even more thrilling was hearing Ian’s say…”watch this Dad…he’s going to score”…and he did. Ian’s narration was spot on…probably because of the amount of time they spend together playing this sport…and the fact that as brothers they are very close.

Jake also assisted (a great pass) on the second and final goal of the Colonial Forge HS season

You could see the disappointment in Jake’s eyes as they were getting ready to board the bus…but again…as Coach Smith stated and I have always imparted upon the boys…this is not a life or death situation…sometimes the better team wins and this was one of those times.

Within 30 minutes of getting back to school Jake was informed that he had been selected as a Conference All Star…the only one from his school to attain that honor. I wanted to tell Jake that it’s a good thing we did not treat the game loss as a life or death matter or quite frankly…he would not be around to reap the rewards of being selected as an All Star…but…I bit my tongue…I figured he would get that!

I too had a “life or death” situation on Friday…I loaned Jake the use of my convertible for a couple of hours while I took Ian over to the DMV to register his car and make it officially Ian’s…..he was not really “stoked” sitting at DMV for over an hour (neither was I!) but it was an eye opener for him on what is required to have a vehicle on the road. As soon as we were walking out we got a call from Jake…the clutch in my car has gone out while he was driving it…and they were pushing it to a parking space!

Now some may consider this to be life or death…at previous stages in my life…maybe I would have…but in reality it was not…the bill to fix it almost killed me but it was not life or death! With Ian’s help I was able to get the car situated and we were able to find a mechanic (from Iraq)…after talking about his hometown (Al Hilla) and the fact that I had been there I was able to get a “good” price to repair Ian’s car. Again...nowhere near a life or death situation.

Now we had a great weekend…and again…some “bad” things happened but nothing that can’t be rectified with a deep breath and a step back. And therein lies the lesson for Jake and Ian…as well as everyone else…Coach Smith’s comments could be taken literally or revamped to say something like… if it does not involve your health or the health and welfare of a loved one then in reality its not a life or death situation! Whether it’s the car; the loss of a game; a bad meal or just DC traffic…we all know what it is…and more importantly…what it is not…and we all know to take a step back and look at it in the greater scheme of things.

Oh...I forgot…Jake was also in the hospital on Saturday for a large portion of the day…he is fine and I will fill you in on Tuesday…along with an update on a new medicine that they want to put me on.



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