I’ve figured out things well enough since fall 2019 to realize when athletic schedules get their tightest, a sudden inevitable lull will follow. I probably wrote a handful of columns among February, October, and May in previous years kvetching to each of you about the pace, and the packed schedule.

I’m not headed down that path this year because I’ve remained relaxed because I recall in past years my sports schedule was quite busy… until it wasn’t.

Senior athletes heading into the homestretch of their scholastic athletic career during May, and June – if they are lucky – will suddenly become incoming first-year college students, or apprentices in their newly-found full time jobs.

They were athletes whose names will be – for a few more weeks - a regular part of a local or regional sports page… until they aren’t.

This week the post season begins with conference track finals among the area schools and their respective leagues, then it snowballs among the other spring sports from there.

If you have a dog in the fight, please enjoy these next few weeks to the fullest. The years following this, for most of us, will be the last time we hear our kids’ names announced over a loudspeaker, mentioned in a broadcast, or printed in a sports article or area sports recap snippet.

Local celebrities… until they aren’t.

It’s O.K. because now there are opportunities for heroism of all sorts – for the most part – will not be reported to the public.

I miss watching my son play football even more when I’m PA announcing Tiger football than I did the first season following graduation when I was reporting only, and PA announcing for sub-varsity football and Lady Tiger girls’ soccer.

The scholastic athletic year following his graduation, specifically in the final months of winter season, the Times-Union freelance sports staff was comprised solely of the guy whose column you’re currently reading.

I was too busy to feel like I was missing anything.

Through Parker’s sub-varsity years, I was announcing his name – objectively of course – until I wasn’t.

He earned a starting spot under Friday night lights. I was a cub freelance sportswriter in his senior year, so missing PA while he was on the field didn’t occur to me because I had other adjustments to make. I was probably biased to a fault covering his senior year by not typing his name often unless a performance or a specific play.

He was a terror on the field, nonetheless, until he wasn’t. The season ended with a 42-28 loss to Merrillville at the 2019 regional final.

He was a Division III college football recruit… until he wasn’t.

Parker, instead, eventually chose the trades – specifically the path of a heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) apprentice. These days he’s a hero in our home for different reasons these days, mostly because he is very handy with home maintenance and electronics.

Occasionally when he is watching me use a chainsaw or do some very basic handy work/maintenance he admits he is only by my side because my wife tells him prior to my task of choice, “Make sure your father isn’t doing something that will get him killed.”

Full disclosure, humor is not her intent when she gives Parker such specific directions.

If you see me on the street and choose to come up to me instead of heading in an opposite direction, you’ll have to ask me about replacing a circuit breaker in October 2020 without Parker present, and the dumb luck I had the fortune of experiencing - not being electrocuted to death in fact - since he was not supervising me.

I would have been, on that October day, an accountant, a PA announcer, and a freelance sportswriter… until I wasn’t.

It was humbling to get my rear-end chewed out by my son when he quizzed me on how I successfully replaced a big breaker. His mind was boggled by how I wasn’t transformed from a healthy middle-aged man to a mist comprised of sprayed blood and charred flesh.

Your children, or grandchildren, will be heroes of a different sort as they move on from their athletic careers.

Enjoy your kids’ athletic seasons… until you don’t.