Filling the Packer Void

playing catchThe long drought of Packer news is driving me nuts. I’ve been trying to fill the void with highlights and even full games. I’ve watched some rugby matches on YouTube. I’ve completed some projects around the house that I needed to get done.

But, for some reason, I’m much more stir-crazy this season than in past seasons. My restless anticipation for the start of the season is more intense this season.

Then it dawned on me why that is…

My son is not living in the house.

I used to fill the Packer silence every year with time spent outside playing catch with my son. We’d run routes and I’d teach him the nuances of the game. Sometimes we just stood, face to face, tossing the ball back and forth and discussing life.

If you’ve been a parent for any length of time, you’ve heard someone say it… enjoy them while they’re young because the time goes very quickly. It’s way more true than I ever realized.

Take advantage of the down time this summer. Take you’re kids into the backyard and toss the pig skin around. Teach them about this great game we’ve all come to love.

While you’re at it, ask them about their life. When we played a father/son game of catch, barriers were broken down. I don’t know if it was because Devan’s mother wasn’t within earshot in the other room or what, but we would discuss some of the hard things that he was going through. We’d talk about stuff that was bothering him. It gave me a chance to share some of the stories from my youth where I went through similar things, and made for a real bonding time between the two of us.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that there were days when I came in from mowing the lawn (with my push mower) and wanted nothing more than to crack open a cold one, sit in my easy chair and soak in the air conditioning. In those moments, my mind would travel back in time and I would again be standing on the sidelines of the football field sucking wind after 15 windsprints and hearing Coach Rosin yelling, “Just 5 more!” And, just as I would grit my teeth back then and give every ounce of energy I had into those last few sprints, I would grit my teeth, drag my old, exhausted carcass out of my chair and say, “Hey Devan. Want to play some catch.” His eyes would get big, he’d say yes, and he’d run off to get his Mark Chmura jersey on. I, on the other hand, would smile and my mind would take a mental photo that I will cherish until my dying day.

So, drop everything you’re doing right now. It can wait. Take your kid out and play a little catch. It’s great.

About J.R. Augustine

J.R. Augustine grew up in Black River Falls, WI and is currently living in Tennessee. He was born a Packer fan and survived the infamous 70s and 80s. He has immensely enjoyed the Packers' recent success and is looking forward to years of success to come.

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