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A Summer of Heirlooms

I played catch with my daughter during lockdown. It was the first time I had picked up a baseball glove in 10 years. Baseball gloves were a first sign of summer on my street growing up. When I think back, a significant amount of my family’s childhood memories revolve around summer sport. 

We were by no means a competitive sport or athletic household. My dad played beer league ball when he was home and we played the odd round of golf as a family.

I remember my father throwing endless balls to me while he taught me to catch and throw. I never connected to the skills, but I still learned perseverance, patience and humility. Now as I go through the same motions with my daughter, I’m able to pause and acknowledge these are moments she will remember too.

Dad was infected with the golf bug and would practise chipping golf balls in the backyard most nights after dinner. The banter exchanged between us, as we made friendly wagers to who could get closest to the tree, not only taught me a few secret golf tips, but provided a great opportunity to build a friendship. The conversations we had on the links could range from casual to serious to hilarious, but all still important moments which now affect the way I parent.

As my daughter and I embark on a summer of hitting the links and throwing taters, my eyes are wide open to the opportunity. The opportunity to teach her strength in character, to build trust and patience, and to become her friend. To pass on some of the lessons that were shared with me. To learn that you can love a sport even if you’re not good at it. Most of all, I’m so excited to never let her win a round. 

The experiences made from recreational sport are wound as tight into my make-up as the laces on my glove. The memories I made through sport are some of the ones I treasure most. It’s special to be able to create new memories with the next generation, but it’s an honour to be able to pass on the lessons, as is if they are treasured family heirlooms. 

Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.


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