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I Wanted to Make His Day

I did this for Trey because I wanted it done for me when I was his age. So here's me reliving my dream vicariously through Trey.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do as a child was turn my Grandpa Walter’s backyard into Soldier Field. He had the greenest grass in the neighborhood. He always kept it short and nice and always allowed us to play sports on it.

So me, my brother and sister would play in the backyard as if we were NFL players. Not even kidding. Listen to this podcast where I talk about how we took it to the next level when we were able to add our sister in the mix.

We did everything in that backyard. When we played wiffle ball, we would pretend we were at Wrigley Field and hit the ball over the garage. We did it all. But one thing out Grandpa Walter never did was allow us to spray paint his backyard. We could never do that. It would ruin his grass.

A few weeks ago, Trey found a spray paint can in our garage. I was in the thick of working on my business when Trey approached me:

Trey: Hey dad, …. can I spray paint the front yard into a football field?

Me: *Hesitates and thinks, then processes thoughts of a disastrous lawn* Um… well why don’t you want to do it in the backyard?

Trey: Cuz dad, there’s more space in the front.

Me: *Silently thinking how my Grandpa Walter never let me do anything in his backyard* Okay Bud. Sure have at it man.

He rushed out of my presence and right out the door. All of a sudden I knew what my Grandfather was thinking.

  • What if he ruins the lawn?

  • What if it stains and takes forever to come out?

  • What if he spray paints the sidewalk?

  • What if he gets spray paint all over himself?

Wait, I’m thinking way too hard about this. What would I do at his age? How would I feel if I got the chance to spray paint lines and numbers and such on his precious backyard lawn?

Hell… I’d want my Grandpa Walter to join in with the Field of Dreams.

So what did I do? I stopped my work and decided to join in. Trey painted the lines on the field but I decided to add a little bit of a professional touch and add the NFL-like number. I only added the 20 but here’s a little side story you may not have known.

I used to carve the fancy number 20 pattern in the carpet with my finger at my Grandpa Walter’s house. It was just one of those things that I loved to replicate. Those fancy numbers on the football field. I loved them.

So now fast forward 30 plus years and here I am replicating my dream for my son and myself.

We later played football on that field. Many passes for touchdowns on that field. Many famous plays and such were played on that front lawn - Field of Dreams.

I hope he never forgets that moment. I hope he always remembers that dad decided to have a little fun and deface the front lawn. I hope he understands that I did it out of my love for him.

I’m hopeful.


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