The rehash.

In the car ride home, in the kitchen, family room, any room in the house, after games, parents and kids rehash what happened in the game.

I know my house is no different than anyone else's who has a son or daughter playing sports.

After the game ends and the child comes home, the story of the game is retold from various perspectives.

For my family and I bet every other family it starts in the car with Mom and Dad.

We talk about how the team won or lost, how our son did and wonder aloud what he will say.

We have our own perspective based on what we see from the other side of the fence.

The game is a lot different when viewed between handfuls of sunflower seeds and a mouth full of popcorn.

I have learned to ask my son what happened rather than tell him what I saw or at least phrase my questions carefully because my perspective is different than his from the field.

Baseball is much simpler from the stands or the left field foul line than it is when you're in the batter's box or on the pitching mound, so I keep that in mind when I talk to my son.

I have also learned that my job is more of listener and maybe counselor than coach, which is perfect because as a coach I'm a pretty good listener and counselor.

Alek has coaches, so that job is filled. But I can still be there to share in the good times and bad.

And actually, I like this role a lot better. Alek knows better than to come to me about the nuts and bolts of playing the game. That is not my strength, but I love hearing what he's learned, what he's being coached to do and not do.

We talk about practices and games, and he gives me his insight on what he needs to work on or what's working well.

But the rehash, that's when I can still lend an ear, encouragement or an attaboy.

When Alek gets home after games I get to hear what he thought about the game, certain plays, how he feels he is doing.

It is a unique perspective to hear a kid talk about what it is like in the middle of the fray. While parents can gather during the game and offer our opinions, we do not see the game through our son's eyes.

One of the best parts of the game for me is being a dad and talking and joking with the other dads. We are all in the same helpless position of rooting for all the kids, all the while hoping our son does something great.

There are bonds parents form that years from now, when we have nothing better to do or nothing else to talk about, our conversations will drift back to these days standing around at ballfields watching our sons play baseball.

It's the first thought we had when we brought our sons home for the first time.

It's the reason Alek had a glove and ball in his crib before he realized what it was for.

It's the reason we travel around the state, looking for the lights of a baseball field in some town we had never been to before.

It's the reason we drive home late at night wired from the game we just saw and stale fountain pop.

It's the reason we show up for work the next day bleary-eyed, but with our motors still running from the night before.

We love the game, we love our sons.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.