As my dad's birthday approaches, it gets me thinking about sports.
That's because we have shared sports-related moments ever since I was very young.
It started when he and my mom signed me up for -- and, more importantly, brought me to -- recreation leagues. In between baseball practices and games, he and I would play catch and go to the batting cages.
During soccer season, we would kick the ball around. We played golf, and occasionally headed out to the tennis court. We also often watched sports.
The effect of his -- and my mom's -- effort to be involved in something I enjoyed was a great bond between us. Granted, they probably don't enjoy sports quite as much I do, but for as long as I can remember, I thought they did. And that's all that matters.
That story of bonding is similar to that of Jose and Alex Miles, chronicled in the Sept. 12 issue of The Columbia County News-Times .
Jose Miles had never been a NASCAR fan. In fact, he had never even watched a race.
His son, 7-year-old Alex, was flipping the channels one day and stopped on a NASCAR race. He immediately fell in love with it.
It was something with which Jose Miles was unfamiliar. However, rather than show no interest, he used it as an opportunity to bond with his son through a common element -- sports.
Now, he and Alex are both NASCAR aficionados. Jose said attending races has gone from something he does to stay close with his son to something he thoroughly enjoys.
Incorporating sports-related events isn't always easy. Sometimes, it takes work to be able to make it happen.
Some of the more vivid sports memories for a good friend of mine came when his father brought him to work with him while he worked sporting events as an emergency medical technician. Because he had to be close at hand in case of a medical situation arising, the seats were some of the best in the house, as my friend tells me.
It's amazing the lasting effect it has had. He not only remembers the experiences, but still recalls them with impressive clarity, as if they happened yesterday.
Sports isn't the only avenue through which a parent and child can bond. There are countless such things.
For me, though, it has provided unrivaled memories.
I remember watching alongside my parents when the Atlanta Braves won the 1995 World Series. I remember looking toward the bleachers to see them cheering me on in soccer. I even remember the day my dad told me he wouldn't play golf with me anymore because I beat him too badly.
His bark was worse than his bite; he continued to play with me.
Which reminds me, how's a round of golf sound, dad? I'll spot you five shots.
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