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Play Ball!

Pete Sung

So hilariously awesome! An amazing pack of preschoolers playing t-ball. JP played his first game today with the Rancho Mission Viejo Little League Rangers and it was a blast!

They looked so good in their little uniforms and competed with the adoration and cheers of an impressive crowd of parents and grandparents. It was in this moment that Vivian asked with delight, “Is this a dream come true for you?”

Hmmm… What a great question.

Well, in many ways, I suppose it is. To see my son out there with “SUNG” emblazoned on the back of his jersey was a little surreal. I’ve always dreamed of being a father, but there have been times in my life when I wasn’t sure that would ever happen.

For one, was that oh-so-confusing period of singleness. I teetered along the spectrum from thinking, “I don’t know if anyone would ever want to marry me,” to, "I don’t know if I ever want to get married.” A little extreme I admit. Fortunately, Vivian burst onto the scene of my life, and has proven to be just the perfect partner.

Another moment that threw fatherhood in doubt was my time serving in combat. Without getting too deep into the morbid details, I was forced to face the very real prospect of never returning from the Middle East. Good thing is I’m here (unless I’m stuck in some kind of M. Night Shyamalan movie), so I’m grateful for that.

So is it a dream come true? For sure. It's an absolute privilege and joy to be a parent and see my child experience the exhilaration of life. It’s something I hope I don’t ever take for granted.

Here’s a good word I’m thinking of to help keep me focused on the right things with my son. Although this takes the conversation in a different direction, it's a helpful piece of guidance from the scriptures:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
— Ephesians 6:4

I like this verse because it reminds me of two things,

  1. Don’t project unhealthy expectations onto your children, and
  2. Keep your priorities straight, raise your kids to have the kind of character the Lord desires.

These are common parenting pitfalls I'll have to stay vigilant against. But with the help a supportive community, I'm optimistic I'll survive ... or rather my kids will survive!