“It’s Never Too Late To Do The Right Thing”
The day my oldest son was born, I bought him a mini baseball set. I was so excited to have a little Joey. I looked forward to teaching him the sport I was most passionate about, but as he grew, we both quickly realized that baseball probably wasn’t going to be his thing.
But we kept trying. When Joey was around eight, I took him to our backyard to practice. We had signed him up for Little League (for the first time) to see if he maybe liked playing in the games better. I made a deal with him that day. If he was able to hit the ball over my head, I'd buy him the big pirate Lego ship he really wanted.
He tried, but he never hit the ball over my head. Or did he?
Joey insisted that he did. In fact, for the next decade and a half, it would be a point of contention between us. The way my son saw it, I had reneged on our deal. The way I saw it, he never hit it over my head.
By the time he was around 24 years old, I realized that the Lego ship was creating a wedge between us, and I needed to do something about it. When he came home from school for Christmas break in 2013, I told him I had a really special gift for him.
But before I gave it to him, I told him, “You have to read the card.”
The card simply said,
This, Joey, is long overdue.
And for that I'm sorry. Please accept this,
late as it may be, for the continual home runs
you're hitting in your life.
The look on his face told the story; he knew exactly what was in that gift. Whether or not he ever hit the ball over my head doesn't matter today. What matters is it left us broken and in need of repair. No matter how badly I may have screwed up as a father that day and the years following, and no matter how far in the past the mistake seemed, I realized it’s never too late to let ourselves be humbled and to do the right thing.