Bucky Doren & His Son Through the Years (Photos/Video)
Being a dad has been the best job that I've ever had. As I prepare to watch my son walk across a stage to accept his high school diploma, I look back through the years in a video montage. I also share why a few photos mean so much to me.
I've mentioned a few times about how my son Chase is not the only one making a life change this weekend. So are his parents. I feel it is my responsibility for us to move from parent to mentor (read more).
There were tons of photos I sifted through, and it was a hard road to travel down. I'm not one who expresses a lot of emotions outwardly, but for some reason, it hit me pretty hard. The photos that made the final cut each have a specific meaning to me.
I won't paddle on about each one, but I wanted to point a few out that mean the most to me.
The opening photo is what I call the original "Three Generations" photo. It was a very scary time for me. My divorce from Chase's mother was recently finalized, and all through we get along great now, it was a scary time for me.
That day this photo was taken was when I finally realized that the curse my father put on me worked. He told me that, "...as you get older, I'll get smarter." I've put that same curse on my son too, HaHa. Because of that memory, it is a photo we take every time we do family photos.
This photo was taken while we were in Dubuque during one of the hundreds of weekends we traveled for baseball. It was Father's Day weekend, and the moms had these pictures taken with all of the dads on Saturday. Some how they found a way to slip away without us knowing.
Before we began warm-ups on Sunday, all of the boys presented the dad's with a photo. It's cropped out, but at the top it says, "Happy Father's Day". To this date, it's the BEST Father's Day present I've ever received! To say that baseball was a HUGE part of our time together would be an understatement.
This selfie was taken on one of our college visits. It was a football recruiting visit. It was at that moment that I realized that I was no longer a teacher. I was becoming a mentor.
After that photo was taken, I watched him walk away (from me) to join the other recruits on the field during warm ups. Seeing him interact with the other football hopefuls, talking & laughing, and grinning from ear-to-ear was hard to take, but I was so proud to see him begin to spread his wings.
It was also then that I knew that he had played his last baseball game. Football was going to be his sport. I think that is why it was so hard for me to watch that day. Baseball, as I mentioned earlier, had been so important to us for so many years.
After he joined his high school baseball team, I kept coaching pre-high school kids. That past summer, we both endured a bunch of empty promises and double talk, and a few other things that I won't bore you with.
Baseball was starting to take on a bad taste because of others ruining it for us. While we were traveling to visit my folks for Christmas, we both decided that we were 'officially' done with baseball. We wanted to leave the sport that fostered our bond while we still loved it.
That is why this next photo is my favorite!!!
After watching college baseball for years and years, we had always dreamed of traveling to Omaha, NE for the NCAA College World Series, but because of weekend baseball tournaments, it just never happened.
This past summer it finally worked out that we could go. We had a blast. On the way home, we decided that we would try to make that an annual father/son mecca on opening weekend. To me, that photo is more than a look back to a past moment. Instead, it is a look towards the future. And yes, we already have our tickets for this Father's Day weekend in Omaha.
Although this pictures is not featured in the above video, it is in one of the other photo montages that will play during his Graduation Open House. Baseball not only created a father/son bond, it helped bring his parental unit together.
In fact, Tony (far right) is Chase's step-dad, and he was my assistant coach for several years. I loved working with him. Chase's mom was the team mom. I sure miss those weekends on the road. It was a lot of fun. It just proves that baseball was definitely more than just a game. it brought this family together (read more).
Oh and the very last photo (in the video above) of a coupon for 'One free hug... upon request', I still have it. It is pinned up on my refrigerator. I'm saving that one for when I really need to redeem it.
Good luck, my son, my pride and joy, my friend. I can't wait to see what happens next.