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Watching All The Kids Grow Up

Greetings from Worcester;

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a proud father. Like most parents, I think my three children are awesome. My oldest daughter, Maggie, is 11 ½ going on 30 at times, and wanting not to grow up at others. She has had one of the sweetest left handed baseball swings I have ever seen and yet when she plays, it’s just something to do with her friends. My son, Michael, is fast approaching double digits; he will be 10 in two weeks. He is all boy. He plays everything and anything all day long. We finally finished his hockey season this week, with a thrilling 3-2 loss as our team played with only seven kids.

He notched his final goal of the year by whacking a waist high puck into the net – that told me he was ready for baseball! My youngest daughter, Colleen, is 8. She is as all girl, as my son is boy. She makes a fashion statement everyday. Her room is filled with Barbies and she has a spirit which will keep her parents young. One of my favorite moments was when she sat quietly in a golf cart as we drove on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie and I asked her what she was doing. Her response was “Dad, I am watching the movie”. I get chills when I type this, what a wonderful outlook on looking at life as though it were a movie playing in front of her.

Ok, so you are thinking, has he run out of things to write? The answer is no, not at all. In telling you about Maggie, I touch on why she plays sports. She plays for FUN. She plays to be out there with her friends. Too often parents get lost in their children’s sports and relive their own childhood dreams. Cal Ripken just wrote a new book, “Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way” It is a must read on being a sports parent. Here is one of the worlds most well respected athletes simply writing about his experience as a father of children in sports. Go to www.ripkenbaseball.com to learn more about it.

I told you about Michael partially for the same reason as Maggie; I love his approach to his sports. The season changes, so does his sport. I also talk about Michael because I actually feel like the father of probably 80 or so other “boys” over the last 5 years. As President of the Sharks Minor League Holding Company, my job is to help provide an atmosphere to succeed, provide resources, educate, and help develop the future NHL Sharks.

Sunday after our 3-2 loss in Squirt Hockey, Michael and I went to watch the NHL Sharks play Game 2 versus Nashville. Michael was bouncing out of his seat as the guys he watched grow into these world class athletes for five years were on national TV.

In goal was number 35, Vesa Toskala. On the first line was number 14, Jonathan Cheechoo. He was also able to pick out #11 Marcel Goc, #44 Christian Erhoff, and so forth and so on. The fruits of our labor were shinning in the NHL. Yes, it made me feel like a proud father of all our “boys”. I am getting old!

Colleen’s message is the easy one, isn’t it? We watch the world go by us everyday and the wonderment in her eyes makes it a special place to be. It is all about the children and the world we create for them. Enjoy the children in your life and the feature length film!

Michael T. Lehr
Proud Father and President

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