Colleen for some time has been asking me to write a guest blog for this site and I have put
it off for some fairly obvious reasons. Not the least being that I’m not as
talented a writer as she is and I wouldn’t want to pollute her site with my
incoherent dribble. However, I guess this weekend was a new stage in my
relationship with Caitlin and Arthritis.
We have always allowed Caitlin to self moderate her activity so as not to push
herself so hard that she regrets her actions the next day. It obviously doesn’t
always work, but she knows better than anyone else the consequences of her
As many of you know Caitlin’s competitive team sport has always been softball…
not that that was her first choice, but that was the most sensible for Caitlin
and her joints. Over the years the softball league has been very generous with
Caitlin. For instance they allowed her to stay in 10U even though she was 11.
Coaches always looked out for Caitlin and made sure she got to play. Several of
the years, team mates and coaches came out to the Arthritis walk to support our
cause. So the softball community has always been very supportive for my
I suppose it’s no different than any athlete; There comes a time in life when
you just can’t compete at the necessary level for a competitive game. I believe
Caitlin came to that realization this weekend. It’s a time I knew would come
but wasn’t quite sure when. It was always obvious to us that Caitlin wouldn’t
be getting a scholarship to college for playing softball, so the game was
always for fun.
We did however make sure she knew that if she did sign up… she needed to be at
all the practices and all the games even if only as a cheerleader in the
To Caitlin’s credit she was always there, no matter the flare. When the team
was short players they could count on her, and for that I am very proud. She
also tried very hard anytime she was on the field during a game, and she always
wanted to play in the infield.
We just started a new season of fall ball. At Caitlin’s request, we signed her
up. But it became clear at the first practice and as the first game approached,
that her heart was no longer in the game.
Caitlin stepped up and personally called her coach to explain that the pain was
too great to continue. He was gracious enough to accept her resignation with
much understanding. He also suggested that she is still a member of the team
and was welcome at all of the events. Thank you Coach Eric.
I understand that the end of every child’s sports career is a tough one,
especially for the proud parents. There are so many great moments when the fans
rise up to cheer for your child and her team. When they come off the field in
victory with smiles from ear to ear it makes a father proud. Which is one
reason why I think it was so hard for Caitlin to give into the agony… she
didn’t want to disappoint her dad.
Well she hasn’t disappointed Dad, she has inspired hundreds of team mates and
coaches and family members with her 8 year career. How could a dad be
disappointed by such a tremendous effort? Thank you Caitlin, for 8 awesome
years of inspiring team work and effort. Dad is and has always been very proud
of your heart and determination.
Now it’s time for the next hobby. Will it be swimming, guitar, design, stage or
all of the above? Which ever you choose I will be a proud dad supporting your
efforts. From what ever side line I stand on, I’m very proud of my daughter.