Patrick Murphy

We watched the girl run around the track, bundled up for a spring track meet.

We kept watching, but then we realized the camera was focused on the wrong girl.

My wife pulled out an old video camera with images of our daughter, Claire, running high school track, and our son, Alek, playing his first year of travel-team baseball.

My wife was the videographer, director and producer of these productions, and they brought back a lot of memories - when the camera was focused on our kids.

My wife was videotaping a track meet, watching the girls run around the track, each wearing sweat pants and sweatshirts and either stocking caps or ear coverings on, and for a few laps she was following one of Claire’s teammates.

She eventually discovered what she was doing and starting taping Claire.

Then there was one of Alek’s baseball games.

It’s easier to videotape a baseball game, either Alek was hitting or pitching.

However, there were times when Alek was batting, hit the ball, but we didn’t know where he hit it because the camera stayed focused on an empty batters box.

The home movies, which we had not seen for years, were a great trip down memory lane.

I wish there were more, but we took pictures over the years, but not a lot of videotape.

My wife and I watched family gatherings, marveling at how quickly time had gone by, and how the “little kids” had grown up.

It was great to see family Christmases with everyone gathered together for family time and to see my father-in-law again.

There were family picnics with more images of  these “kids” who are now young adults in college or married and working.

It is a great reminder to enjoy the times we are in now because they go by pretty quickly.

The high school girl running track is now running her own business and four years into marriage.

The boy playing baseball has been married a year and operates his own business.

Those were great times, and we love to think back and reminisce about those busy days, days where everything revolved around what our kids were doing.

There were years of band concerts, school programs, track meets and baseball games.

Almost every weekend meant packing up the vehicle and heading to ball games, and then it became during the week and weekends.

We never minded, and we rarely missed anything.

Those Christmas programs and band concerts were great because it was our children, and that’s all that mattered.

When those days ended it was a shock to our system not to have to look at schedules and pack coolers, but our kids moved on to other adventures, and it’s just as meaningful because it’s still our kids.

And if we ever get sentimental, we can always pull out the videotape of some other girl running around a track and an empty batters box.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.