Thursday, October 2, 2008

the urgency of dreams

photo by Katie Haller

I've not posted much about my first-born, David. But I'm thinking about him today. Let me tell you a little about his life and I do this with a purpose. It's not to brag, though mothers tend to do that. It's to remind us all of the urgency of encouraging dreams. Yes, it's urgent. Listen and look for the gifts and dreams that are often hidden inside your child. They are the seeds of the person your child will become. We must first notice them, then fertilize them with prayer, praise and encouragement.

There was a time that I tried to squash my son's dreams. This is painful and embarrassing to admit. But the boy spent hours and hours hunched over the computer, studying baseball stats and transferring numbers onto the piles of paper spread around him. Our other kids called David's pursuit "crunching numbers" and "gigga-ball." And I joined in their teasing. What could possibly come of the endless hours spent studying baseball stats and trivia? But David knew. He would someday work for a professional baseball team.

The ball (pardon the pun) began rolling almost as soon as we delivered David to college. He majored in business, but later admitted, "I minored in baseball." By his senior year, he had landed an internship writing for Baseball Prospectus, a premier publication for baseball stats and commentary. Mind you, this internship had nothing to do with David's college degree.

Ten months after graduating, David was offered an internship in media relations with the San Diego Padres. He loaded his Honda Civic and drove alone from Ohio to San Diego. As he drove, David didn't even know where he would live. He just knew the door to his dream was opening, and he dashed for it before it slammed shut.

The next season, (you know that in baseball, "season" refers to the baseball season, not climatic changes) within 2 weeks of finishing in San Diego, David was offered an internship with the Cleveland Indians. By then, he was wondering if he might ever land a permanent job in baseball. But at the close of the season with Cleveland, David interviewed and was offered a job by the Tampa Bay Rays. He moved again, this time driving solo from Ohio to Florida.

This week, Tampa Bay ended the regular season first place in their division. Today they play their first game of the play-offs. The Rays have chased their dreams, too, by reversing their record in a year's time.

Today is David's 25th birthday. Twenty-five years ago this week, Bill watched the baseball playoffs in a hospital as he held David in his arms. Somehow we believe that began a little boy's passion for baseball.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVID! And keep chasing your dreams. I promise to never again get in the way.

1 comment:

D&JHaller said...

Great post, Mom!
David deserves every kind word you spoke about him! I am as proud of him as a brother as you are of him as a son...and even more so after the Rays win the World Series!!