Tag Archives: children

Why Do They Have To Grow Up?


Hope on her way into the rink for her last home game.

Today is another one of those bittersweet days that as parents you kind of hope doesn’t happen. But as time passes they do. They happen and we wish they wouldn’t. For the better part of 17 1/2 years, our children have played either roller or ice hockey. Both involved a commitment of multiple nights per week, weekends and lots of traveling.

Today marked my daughters last home game playing ice hockey. Like her brother, she began by playing roller hockey and moved on to play on the ice. First, she played with boys and for the last few years, she has played on a girls team. We have now played on the rink at Trinity Pawling for nine years.

Watching her play and grow has been an amazing experience. She has developed into a level headed, smart and well rounded young woman. I couldn’t be more proud and could not have asked for more.

With both of my kids, I spent countless hours behind the wheel going to practice, coming home, going to games and tournaments and returning home. Day in and day out.

My colleagues at work know my story and they have listened to me bemoan my situation. Traveling to all corners of New York, to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Last year we thought it was the end based on the fact that we didn’t think we had enough girls to play. But then we did.

But now it really is over. My daughter is a senior and will be attending college next year. There will be no more long talks in the car. No more stories of what she had done in school that day or what she was planning to do with her boyfriend that weekend (who by the way is an outstanding young man). No more stories of her plans for the future and what she wants to study in college.

Folks have been telling me for the last couple of years that despite the driving and the long hours that I would miss it when it was over. I would always stoically reply that I wouldn’t miss it at all.

Life, however, has a funny way of sneaking up on you. After our last home game today we have two games next weekend in Saratoga Springs and then it will be the end.

The thing that I think I will miss most is looking to my right as she talked and seeing her eyes, bright with enthusiasm as she chattered on about her hopes and dreams and me, sitting in the driver’s seat thinking that last day was always a lifetime away and I would have these special moments forever.

But that time is now here. It really is over. Soon she will be in college and I won’t have to drive to any hockey practices, games or tournaments. Even as I write this I have an empty feeling inside knowing that both of my children are now grown up. My wife and I have done our jobs and we can only hope for the best.

But to be totally honest, I already miss the smile and the look when she turned to me and would say, “You aren’t going to believe what happened today.”


They Grow Up So Fast

It wasn’t that many years ago that I would be mowing the lawn and watching my two kids swing back and forth as our first dog Murphy sat and kept them company. Fast forward to today and I have to admit that it made me a little sad to see the swing set in the condition it is now in. Now that both of my kids are way to old for swing sets, I guess it’s past time to get rid of it. It really is true that our kids grow up way too fast.



Was It A Trivial Pursuit??



It was a very interesting day, this Christmas Day. At just around 10:15 yesterday morning, the power went out in parts of Mahopac. After about 20 minutes of blessed silence, my son (who was in the next room), texted me asking if we could play Monopoly. That’s right..he texted me. But that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, after not finding the Monopoly game board, we decided to play Trivial Pursuit.  It was really nice to be able to sit down with my kids and not have to fight with some form of electronics for their attention. As the game passed one hour and then two, I realized how lucky I was to have two kids who didn’t mind spending some time with their old man.

Although it was forced upon us, those three hours spent together playing a board game made this Christmas Day a complete one. It has been a long time since my two kids and I had the opportunity to just sit down and play a game. It brought back memories of other days when we actually planned to play some kind of game if we had a snow day, or if it was really a hot summer day.

With all of that said, I guess my point is this-if you have older children, take advantage of any time that you get to spend with them. When they are younger, we know that they aren’t going anywhere and quite honestly, the thought never enters your mind. Now that my son, who is senior in college, will be either going to graduate school or entering the work force, is obviously on his way. My daughter follows in just a few short years.

Those three hours playing Trivial Pursuit were probably some of the best time spent during 2017! And BTW-I won!!!!!


Eventually they all must go…


My son, making his way to the dorm after saying good-bye.

Today was another one of those days that although I knew was coming, I was hoping that it wouldn’t. My son, who is now a junior in college, was ending his summer break and returning to campus. Even though he is in his third year of studies, this is only the  second year he has lived away from home. His first year of school was spent at a local community college and he commuted to his classes every day. That year was a good one. He buckled down, studied hard and was accepted the next spring at SUNY Albany where he now studies history.

When I drove him to campus last August, I had that feeling that I suspect most parents get when they take their first child to school for the first time. I was nervous about whether he would make friends, make the right decisions, study and eat right (the list certainly doesn’t end here). Would he be able to survive without the sage advice of mom and dad? Would he be able to survive without having us as a back up when he needed us? Even though he knew that he could call or text us at any hour of the day, I didn’t think it would be the same.

As you all probably have guessed, he made it through the year just fine. He made friends, made the right decisions, studied, and according to him, ate from the four food groups on a daily basis. When he came home in May, he endured the endless barrage of questions about grades, future plans etc. The summer passed without incident, and it was truly nice to have him home.  The sound of him coming out of his room to see what was going on and the creaking of the cabinet doors opening as he searched for food comforted me but at the same time made me sad.

As the day for him to return to school got closer and closer, I began to feel worse than I did last year. When he went away for the first time last August, I knew that he would be home for all of the usual college breaks. At the end of the year, he would come home for the summer and then return to school again. He would do the same again this year as well. But as the month grew shorter, things felt different.

Even though he still has two years of school left, after he graduates I will have to resign myself to the fact that his time with us will essentially be over. He will get a job, possibly marry his girl friend, and begin life without his parents. Of course this is what we hope for when we have kids and raise them with the values that we hope will provide them with a quality life. But, and this is a big but, we never think that time is going to go by so quickly and that the time for them to leave will eventually be at our doorstep. I will always think of him as my little boy.

As my son and I made our way to Albany this morning, the conversation settled on the usual topics. The upcoming college football season, his classes, and of course jeep wranglers. We talked as we did every day, and at one point, as the conversation dropped off and the miles flew by, I turned and looked at my now almost twenty year old son and remembered the day we brought him home from the hospital. I remembered the time playing catch with him, running and jumping in puddles after cool summer rains and playing outside after a heavy winter snow. Most of all, however, I remembered the hugs. Hugs that would come when he wanted something, when he was hurt or just when he wanted a hug. Hugs that I’m sure made us both feel good.

After getting him situated in his room, we returned to the jeep to make sure that he had everything. I felt a pit in my stomach as my son grabbed his lap top off of the front seat and I knew it was time to say good-bye. Will we both survive his last two years of school? Of course. Will we both survive when he graduates from college and starts his life? Of course we will. But time goes by without pausing for anyone or anything.

As we hugged and said good-bye, I told him that I loved him and could only think once again that life goes by way too fast. Oh yeah, that hug we had just shared? It felt as good as the first one did almost twenty years ago.