Fathers and daughters have a very special relationship, but the interaction between a son and his Father is something a daughter simply cannot duplicate.
I must say my Dad and I have a very special relationship. I followed in many of his footsteps. I excelled in High School, went to his alma mater Notre Dame, and I have always shared his competitive nature and love of sports ... but the relationship that I see forming between my Father and my son is something I could never have done.
From a very early age my son loved baseball. The year that Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs my son was two years old, and even at that young age, he would sit with me on the couch and watch Mark McGwire and Cardinal baseball.
When my son was 4 years old we signed him up for his first t-ball team, and he was a natural from the word go. He had the perfect swing. Such focus on the ball. And already I could see my Dad's eyes lighting up.
When it was time for my son to join a competitive league, my Dad hit it off with his new head coach (a fellow military guy) and as a result my Dad ended up being one of the assistant coaches on the team. My Dad, and the coach, being military guys, were pretty tough coaches. We lost a couple of players along the way because the boys did not like being yelled at, but the coaches really knew what they were doing (my Dad included) and they shaped these boys into some pretty decent ball players.
Here we are in my son's last season before High School, and he really has come a long way. He used to get so upset when Grandpa would yell at him, but now he can stand there, process what is being told to him (or at times yelled at him), and make the necessary adjustments. It has really been quite a ride.
I love watching the two of them sitting together, watching baseball, or the Discovery Channel, or whatever they happen to be doing. I loved to share time like that with my Dad myself ... but when I watch the two of them together, there is something special there that only comes from two guys spending time together.
This spring my Dad and my son will attend their first Cardinal Spring Training game together (a first for both of them) and I couldn't be happier that they will get to do this first together.
I love my Dad, and I will always be Daddy's Little Girl ... but I am so glad that he is finally getting the little boy he never had!
Now lets play ball!!