Today we got our high school soccer gear. T-shirts, a couple polo shirts and a quarter zip for me. And new this year, hats! We stocked up prior to the season so we could be fully decked out to support the team. Support our youngest and the other seniors. But that was prior to the season and prior to COVID-19.
The realization that my time as a sports parent videographer is over hasn’t hit me yet. I was thinking the other day that I won’t be getting the camera gear out again to record the boys playing their sports. The big backpack (the rule was I couldn’t buy more gear than I could carry so I bought the biggest backpack, within reason, that I could find) is parked. The industrial tripod with the high end video head sits idle, with no games on the schedule to be parked on the sidelines.
But aside from running the camera, we won’t get to see our boys enjoy themselves playing games they love. We won’t interact with the other parents and travel to the away games (well, maybe we won’t miss that so much). We won’t get to talk to the sweaty, stinky teenager on the way home, excited for a win or demoralized in a defeat (that may have been the refs fault). Those days are gone.
I look back at the past fourteen or so years of being a sports dad and I don’t have any regrets. I attended almost every game. I missed a handful over the years for work travel or the like, but made a vast majority of them. Soccer (club and school), volleyball (club and school) and even a couple track competitions. Of the 1590 videos I have uploaded to my YouTube channel, most are the boys’ sports and that is just since 2009. A lot of time and a labor of love, with videos I can go back and watch and cherish for years to come.
But this season was going to be a lot of fun. The Swan Song to Josh’s hard work over the years to improve his game. We were looking forward to watching him and his friends play it out and even had plans with the parents to do happy hours and group get togethers. Instead we are all quarantined and while I know we don’t have it as bad as most (and we are all healthy), it is a shame that the boys didn’t get to have their final season.
As I mentioned before, Josh has had a great attitude about all of this. I hope (and assume) the other boys have as well. Nothing they can really do about it and most are not the type to complain for the sake of complaining. And it is probably selfish to think about the impact on me through these unique circumstances. I too will get over it. Perhaps take the camera equipment into a little side business or something. Who knows.
This time will be marked in all of our minds as something strange, unique, scary, disruptive – there are many ways to describe it and most of all I hope it is both unprecedented and never repeated. While we look at ways to make the best of it, to muddle through without feeling like we are muddling, we are distracted and not until we are on the other side of this (and I believe we will be, at some point) will we have time to really think about what we missed. For me, I will remember the Season that Wasn’t, and perhaps throw on that nice new hat as I reminisce.