Last weekend, our little family traveled to New York to honor my dad. He has had a pretty impressive career as a soccer coach (you can read about it and here), and was inducted into Houghton College’s Hall of Honor. It was definitely a proud moment for our family.
Anyone who knows my dad understands he’s one of a kind. Not only is he successful on the soccer field, but he is one of those men that is living evidence of the love of Christ. And, even if he wasn’t my dad, I would still say that he is one of the best human beings I know.
I won’t lie, I used to get jealous of the time that my dad spent with his soccer girls, and sometimes I still do. I think they are able to see a side of him that my family doesn’t always get to. Not only that, but it was hard to grow up with a dad who coached. Basically, we didn’t see him much from the end of July through December.
I do think this says something about my mom though. She does a lot to support my dad’s career, one of the biggest things being taking care of my sister and I solo for a large chunk of the year. And somehow, she made it to every sporting event for both my sister and I, and also to every game for my dad, as long as it was at home, and she tried her best to get to every away game that she could. Pretty impressive if you ask me. The way those two have worked together over the years to support one another, raise my sister and I, and show love to so many players that have come through our home, is truly inspiring.
All that being said, though I would envy the time my dad spent with his team, there was never a moment that I haven’t been proud of him. When we’d watch him coach, I was always, and still am, so impressed. When he’d preach at church, I’d sit and listen and think, “wow, that’s my dad up there.”
My dad has impacted so many lives for the Kingdom. He’s gracious, gentle, loving, compassionate, and hard working. He has set such a wonderful example for my sister and I.
I realized something last weekend as I watched him accept his award. As I noticed all the alumni who came back to support him, and looked on while he received a standing ovation, I realized how proud I am of my dad. I might have wished time after time, that I could joke with my dad the way his players could, or that I could play soccer as well as some of those he coached, but I realized I’ve got one thing that trumps it all–he’s my dad. My dad. And what a great one.
Congratulations, “bad dude.” It was wonderful to see you get the recognition you deserve. We love you.
As for the rest of the trip, of course it’s always nice to go back home, especially in the Fall. I love Western New York during this season and have so many great memories from that area. It’s even better that we were able to be there as an entire family and that my sister and I got to share some of our favorite childhood experiences over again with our babes. I’ll leave the rest of the post to share some photos from our time with you.