Randy Long was cleaning out his garage when he came across a bucket of used baseballs. He dropped the bucket off at a local batting cage where he used to pitch balls to his son and grandson.
Nothing unusual there.
But Long attached a note to the bucket that clearly struck a chord with many, and now the whole incident has gone viral.
The note said that the balls were free and that he hoped someone would be able to use them. He added that, “I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds.” Long’s son is 46, his grandson 23 and both have moved away. At 72, Long said in his note that he would give anything to “pitch a few buckets to them.”
He reminds other parents to “cherish this time because it goes so quickly.” And in a postscript he tells parents to give their kids “a hug and tell them you love them every chance you get!”
Ethan Anderson, the 23-year-old grandson to whom Mr. Long referred in his note, tweeted out his grandad’s note and the story took on a life of its own. Many people retweeted and said the most rewarding thing they do is spend time with their kids. Others said they were deeply affected by the Tweet.
Anderson appeared on the national news where he reassured everyone that he and his grandad were going to get together soon to throw some balls around.
The Tweet really hit home and not only for sports dads, but for all of us. The passage of time is one of the most startling things we experience as parents. One minute you are coaching a small child and five minutes later you are staring up at them, wondering how in the world you got there.
And all we can really do as parents is hold them tight while we have them.
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