For as long as I can remember, aside from hockey, this has been a summer sports family. Specifically, the Summer Olympic games and Wimbledon are two non-miss events in the my household. In a normal year, summer sports season starts off with the Stanley Cup Finals, then we get a few months break and we’re in to Wimbledon. In 2012, it has been back-to-back action since May, we’ll take it. Way back, when I was just a little sprout, my dad and I would get up early on a weekend morning, go for a walk, come home to make breakfast and hunker down for the women’s or men’s finals at Wimbledon. When I say way back, I mean the mid-nineties glory days of Agassi’s mullet and Pistol Pete’s receding hairline. That’s old school.
Of course, as time passed and I grew older, this little tradition faded into the sunset. That is, until this past month. Back from a mini-vacation, I was woken up by my dad, and taken to breakfast, over which we watched Roger Federer hold a masterclass with some poor, unranked wild card player. It was only after leaving that much-frequented diner of the old days did I realize just how nice a tradition this was. Not a lot of kids these days have the opportunity to have these little moments just with one of your parents. A secret just for the two of you. By the time we got back home and into the house, we had our tails between our legs like two kids who just got caught thieving from the cookie jar.
Sports is one of the few ways my dad and I communicate, it’s our version of catching-up with each other, and checking in to make sure all’s good in our world. The patriarch of my family is not one for emotional sentiment, so this is how we work around that obstacle. In a lot of ways, that is why I am most thankful for summer this year. It lent itself well to a lot of little moments for some bonding time. We lucked out with Wimbledon and the Euro competition occurring within the same month, but to have that followed up by the XXX Summer Olympics? That’s a total bonus.
There are few occasions when everyone in the family can agree to watch the same TV program at the same time. This is one of them, no one complains when the Olympics are on, we all want to watch the opening and closing ceremonies, all the swimming events and athletics. It’s a strange sight to see in this household, and yet, we’ve been living in TV harmony for the greater part of the summer, well played sporting gods, well played. For most, quality time with the family is a meal, a board game or summer vacations, but hey, to each their own.
I’ll gladly take these few months of peaceful co-existence straight to the bank, you can keep your days at the cottage or on the lake. In the meantime, I’ll be the one on the couch with my dad, watching thousands of athletes live out their dream, and making a little family dream of my own come true.