(This post gets the “Fat Ethan Five Food Covered Fingers” rating)
Disclaimer: Okay, I’m gonna say this SIMPLY to rain on the parade of any of my siblings, before they try to rat me out on it. (My family seems to have a thing for blackmail material.) So, I’ll go ahead and say it….I’m a REALLY lovey, huggy, kissy, sensitive type. Okay, there…I said it. PREEMPTIVE STRIKE!!! KABAM!!!!
(Don’t get me wrong though… I mean, I AM a tough guy…like….I luv bear /arm rasslin’ (not to be confused with bare arm or bear arm rasslin’…THAT’S just dumb…) , and ummmm…..off roadin’, and ummmmm…..bo staff fightin’ and like ummm….hunting with wolves aand stuff s much as the next guy….For real… Seriously….Yeah, that’s GANGSTA, right?)
ANYWAY, (new word alert…new word alert…) I had an EPIPHANY ( told ya!) just yesterday. Now, don’t tell anybody else this because it’s a secret and it’s just between us….since we’re family. Okay? Now lean in real close…..you ready? Okay…Here it is: The years go by really fast. (Hey, I never said that I was the smartest guy in the room.)
Looking back on it, it seems like just yesterday that I would tip toe into my daughters’ rooms at night just to kiss them on the forehead and say a quick silent prayer for a good day while they slept. It seems like not so long ago that I bought them pillows to sit on in the car so they could see out the window or when I was teaching them Eric B. and Rakim songs in the car on the way to their Granny’s house. (They both still know the lyrics to Microphone Fiend, btw…and have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of old school hip hop)
Anyway, the funny thing about time is that you don’t really know to savor it while you’re in it. We spend so much time going from moment to moment, that we often forget the joy OF the moment. I was reminded of this from a conversation that I had with Tee. It went something like this….(Cue flashback music…..doddle loodle loo…doodle loodle loo…doodle loodle loo….)
Tee: Hey Dad, I took a picture of that cupcake that you bought me the other day and put it on Instagram. I tell my friends all the time about how close we are…and how you’re my best friend, Dad.
Me: I ain’t your friend, Tee….I ain’t your pal, I ain’t your buddy,I ain’t your com padre… (Said in the GRUMPIEST voice I could find to cover up my obvious joy)
Tee: You should appreciate it, Dad. A lot of kids my age (21) don’t even LIKE their parents…I still like you… I still want to hold your hand….
Right then it hit me….like a ton of bricks….One day WILL be the LAST day that I ever get to hold my daughters’ hands….It’s inevitable…everything ends eventually… One day, if Sharon and I were successful in raising them, and they don’t decide to stay in our house forever, they’ll move out, have families of their own, become successful and have to put their energies into putting into practice everything that we’ve taught them over the years. I’ll see them less and less, talk to them less and less, and eventually not get to hold their hands anymore….
I say all of that to say this…It’s really important that we Daddies take every opportunity that we can get to savor life with our daughters……..and guess what? It’s okay to be silly to do it. Sometimes, it might take screaming Eric B and Rakim lyrics at the top of your lungs while riding down I-40 at 85…I mean 65 miles per hour with the windows down….Sometimes, it might take listening to Brittney Spears for an hour and a half (THANKS, KEE!) But sometimes, SOMETIMES, in the quieter moments, it might just be a matter of a kiss on the forehead.. No matter what it is, it’s important that we create as many of those moments as possible and that when we ARE blessed with them, that we live in them, fellas…because one day will be the last time we get to hold our daughter’s hands.