It's officially Fall, in case you haven't noticed. Today it was hard to notice Fall, or Autumn as the hoity-toities might say, has arrived here for a couple of reasons. First of all, upper 80s with killer humidity doth not a fall day make. Secondly, we only had one child involved in a practice, game or other sort of extracurricular activity. This fall we have 3 kids in soccer and one playing baseball. There's Team Sabo kids being run all over this county. Last Saturday we had 3 soccer games spread 2 1/2 hours apart all at the same field 10 miles away. Not to mention a baseball practice for Ethan. It was crazy, in a good sort of way. Abram and Madeline are in their first year of soccer and having a blast and Evie is back on the pitch, cast and all. There are few things I enjoy in life as much as watching the kids play sports. It's just one of those special pleasures, even topping a bowl of ice cream at night after everyone is in the sack.
Last year at this time we had just arrived in Corvallis and none of the kids were in any sports. Shoot, we were still trying to recover from a 3,200-mile cross country trip, moving into a house with another family, a climate change, a culture change and I was adjusting to being jobless and in school. But a few weeks after we arrived we managed to get Ethan and Taylor on the cross country team for Philomath High School and it was my distinct pleasure to be able to help on a few occasions shuttle the team to practices at parks and trails many miles from the school. (The coach saw my 15-passenger van one time and a smile broke out on his face. And boy he tried to convince us many times it was in our best interest to stay another year and let the boys run for him.) Taylor is a talented runner and ended up making varsity after a week or two of running. He was the 4th man on the team and helped the Warriors to a 5th-place finish at state. He has a long stride, endurance and a toughness that runners need to truly be competitive. Ethan never considered himself a runner -- it didn't involve a ball -- but by the time the season ended he was rounding into pretty decent shape. He loved the competition of cross country. One of the beauties of the sport is that no matter where you are in the race, there's always competition -- unless you're way out in front. Someone is chasing you, so you have to keep the pedal down. Someone is ahead of you, so you have to go get him. Ethan liked that competition. He would probably be running cross country for Gloucester High School right now if he didn't love baseball so much and it wasn't offered in the fall as more or less a club sport. But he's learning a new position -- catcher -- and catching on quick. So to speak.
You know what's so cool? I'll be going to games and practices for years. And it will be a seamless transition from my kids to grandkids. I reckon I'll have to take an early retirement just to watch the kids and grandkids.