A little girl.
Innocent and full of anticipation.
Can’t wait to start something new
And maybe find a passion.
Her little hands grasp the giant ball
As she throws it with all her might
Yet, the rim is still so distant.
But it doesn’t matter.
A little girl tugs on her dad’s shirt.
Please father, she says, sign me up
And let me play,
I think I love this game, and I’m getting better.
Years of fun have passed.
The little girl inside still exists
But is ever so distant,
Disconnected from this big girl.
Years and years
Months and months
Weeks and weeks have passed
Days and days have passed
Where the little girl has seen the look of disappointment
Feign across her father’s face once too many times.
Too many missed chances, too many mishaps
Even an Emmy-winning denial can’t persuade this big girl.
A now big girl tugs on her dad’s heart.
Please, father, she says, don’t make me play.
I used to love this game,
But now I don’t know anymore.
Yet, the girl holds on.
She continues to work hard.
She continues to play.
But for what reason.
Is it for that little girl
That still has a chance of existing.
Or even the glimmer of hope
That she once loved the game
But now she’s not sure.
Not sure if the skinned knees and bruised elbows
Are worth the scars across her heart.
Worth the pain of a game she used to love so much.
She loves this game so much.
She knows she does. Or did.
Nothing and no one can change that
Even though it’s so hard to see sometimes.
A father loves his daughter
And takes pride in his daughter
More than any other person on earth
No matter what the circumstances.
But the image of alleged disappointment is hard to efface.
Everyday it’s easy to say
I’m just frustrated in myself.
I would be fine if I messed up.
It’s disappointing my father that scares me.
Watching him watch ten years of sacrifice and money
Go down the tubes
Everyday it’s easy to just think
Of maybe quitting
Because of all the pain this game has caused
Physically and emotionally.
But in reality, the pain is much deeper.
The pain is trying too hard
Too hard to not disappoint
To make your daddy proud, even if he is already.
And quitting would just make it worse.
And it would give my father a real reason to be disappointed.
It would really be watching 10 years
down the drain, and for what reason?
Looking back it’s all worth it.
The blood the bruises the scars.
All worth it to see my daddy
Smiling proud at his little girl.
And knowing why I play.
For the love of the game,
And most importantly,
The pride of a father.