Audrey Rae and Braxton-
I’m so, so sorry.
I try to provide as much I can for you both. As a youth pastor, we’re certainly not rolling in cash, but we’re blessed enough for the necessities in life, plus some fun things. Your mom and I get toys and clothes and food for you guys, you’re certainly not lacking there. We’re blessed with friends who give us hand-me-downs and have taught us so much about practical parenting. We have good friends who keep an eye open for sales on cool things that we would not normally be able to afford. We have family who are willing to jump in and help whenever we’re in need. We have a home, we have the necessities, we have a family that loves Christ…
But I can’t provide you with everything.
You see, as much as I wish I could control the more unpredictable aspects of life, there will be things that I absolutely cannot give you. There will be things that, despite how caring our friends and family are, despite how much money we do or do not make, despite anything else in life, I just won’t be able to give you, and I’m sorry.
I am, of course, talking about quality sports teams.
As you know, Audrey, and as you’re soon to learn, Braxton, I love sports, particularly baseball. And as a dedicated sports fan, I of course, have teams that I am dedicated to, and that I hope to raise each of you to love and much as I do.
The problem is, we’re always so close, yet so far…
Audrey, you have a cheerleader outfit that both you and I love. It’s a blue U of A outfit with the school logo on the front. You call it your “Go Cats” dress, because when you wear it, you yell out “go Cats!” I love it. But, as I’m sure the other dads of The Dad Letters will remind me, the U of A Wildcats are not quite at the forefront of sports accomplishments. We’ve won a single basketball tournament, more than a decade before either of you were born, but that’s just about where it ends. U of A football has been in a mere 18 bowl games since 1921, and has yet to go to a Rose bowl.
Braxton, you have a fabulous Texas Rangers blanket which I plan on claiming for my own someday, but your mom says I’m not allowed to steal from you. Texas has two American League Championships, but is one of 8 teams to never have won a World Series. Your Nino/Uncle T.J. will often speak of 2010, when the Giants beat the Rangers. I’m okay with this, the Giants deserved to win. We do not speak of 2011. I hate the Cardinals. The phrase “one strike away” will haunt me forever.
I could go on about the Oakland Raiders and the infamous “tuck rule” or the Phoenix Suns and winning a triple overtime game against the Bulls, only to lose the series, but I’ve had enough nostalgic heartache for one letter. A lot of this you probably won’t understand, but someday, I’ll explain the shortcomings of our teams through many tears and anger. I guess we could have been New York Yankees fans or Denver Broncos fans, but we don’t support the devil in our home.
I just wanted to let you both know that I’m sorry. I promise you that one day we will share tears over the failure of one or more of these teams. Your Tata calls this “The Valdez Curse”. But one day, I hope to celebrate victory with you both as well. To share joyful embrace as one of these teams takes it all. But until that time, we’ll share more memories of defeat than victory.
But look at the bright side, at least we’re not Cubs fans.
1 Corinthians 1:4-