Dad Gone Mad has a great post up about watching his son play baseball recently, and it should be required reading for all sports parents:

I spent the rest of the gaming watching my son, and I felt myself getting emotional as I did so. It wasn’t because I was living vicariously through him as he hit line drives and deftly fielded hard-hit ground balls. It wasn’t because I thought his strong play was somehow a reflection on me or the efficacy of my coaching, my fathering, my own passion for the game.

It was because he was having fun.

It’s as pure as anything I’ve ever seen: a seven-year-old boy playing baseball, getting dirty, sliding when there’s no need to do so just because it’s fun to get dirty. He had a bright blue Gatorade mustache. He was wearing a heavily weathered helmet that dwarfed his head. And the smile almost never left his face.

We all live a bit vicariously through our kids, and that’s OK to a point. Well grounded parents do it because they want their kids to be happy and have fun, while others sometimes lose perspective and think their kid is the next prodigy of whatever sport they are playing. Dad Gone Mad sums that up perfectly:

When you watch a lot of youth sports, you begin to notice the attitudes and postures of the kids. Some hate it and look miserable. Some play because they want to make their parents happy. Some try their hardest and strike out every time, but they persevere because once they’ve hit the ball a single time and felt the euphoria it brings, they can’t wait to feel it again.

It’s a lot like what grown-ups experience.

Read the whole thing as Danny is a great writer.