Wow what a Saturday! I took my twins to Montana to see a baseball player that I coached in high school play on his college team. We have remained close and all of my kids have taken many ground balls and batting practice from him over the years. It was a 7 ½ hour drive up, we took in 3 games and then drove 7 ½ hours back down–all in one day. I do not think I will do that again. My aging body has been hating me all day. But, on the bright side, his team won all three games.
I had not seen him in about 4 years and it was good to catch up and hear what a great young man he has become. We took him out to dinner along with some of his teammates. After having some great conversations with him and his friends about life and baseball, we left and started our drive back to Denver. Both my kids stated in the car that I treated him very well.
I asked them what they meant by the statement. My son said, “You took him out to a nice dinner and took his friends and picked up the check.” My daughter said, “You gave him money to buy groceries.” They both seemed astonished by these actions. For me, this was an act of “paying it forward” and was able to share with them a story from my youth and express my hope that the cycle continues.
When I was playing baseball in college, a family took me under their wing and always watched out for me. I was in Iowa and my family was living in upstate New York. My teammate’s family lived a few towns over and often watched our games. They took me out for dinner many times over the years and would slip me cash every once in a while after they visited with me. They treated me like a son while my family was far away.
I will always be grateful to them for their generosity and kindness to me. Now that the tables are turned, I am happy that I can support someone else in a similar situation. Someday, hopefully someone will do something similar for my children.
Do you believe in paying it forward?