-Driving the long way home so you can scream the words to Stay by Lisa Loeb with your 13 year old daughter. A song we’ve heard maybe 10,000 times now, but always feels like that first time we heard it together.
-Hearing your 13 year old daughter talk about the father/daughter dance at her wedding someday a long time from now. How she already has the song and knows she wants to show the video of us dancing to the father/daughter dance at her recital when she was younger. And, hearing your mother in law say she hopes to still be alive to watch me cry in front of all of our families.
-Looking at your watch to see if the kids remote learning class is over so I can tell about the last 45 minutes they missed while they were in their rooms learning and listening to their teachers. Having spent almost every minute with them for months and still missing them when they “go to school”.
-Learning of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing while being with my oldest daughter, who taught me/forced me to learn and love her. Convincing me to take her to the movie about her life and sharing stories about her every chance we got. Learning thru RBG that the way to my daughters heart was just to dive into whatever the hell was happening in her life is something I will always remember about her.
-Walking into the living room and seeing my two daughters snuggled next to each other each with a spoon digging into one pint of ice cream. Not sure if they love each other so much or we just ran out of bowls, but a sight I loved to see anyway.
-Teaching my little goddaughter a new joke with a swear word in it. Watching her laugh like crazy because I said Shit. Her smile, her laugh, is something I just can’t get enough of. I never expected to have such a cool relationship with her, but I have my daughters to thank for that. They softened me up, opened my heart and this little girl filled it all the way up.
Sometimes I think I’ve run out of new ways to find love. I question if I am just making tiny small moments into these big gigantic life altering moments. Like, are there Dads living my same life and enjoying all of this the exact same. What makes me special, why are my words or moments to be celebrated while others can sit in silence and not broadcast all of this to the world? And, as I thought about it, I smiled again, because if all Dads get to experience the same things I do than this world, this life, is so completely worth living. If all Dads get to laugh and cry as much as I do, than there’s a lot more love in this world than I ever knew. So, as bad as NOW might be, lots of good humans, filled with incredibly big hearts will leave this place better than they found it.
As I write the words I picture those moments, I can remember the elephant sweatshirt my youngest was wearing or the rare high ponytail in my oldest daughters hair. I remember the road we were on when my oldest daughter learning to drive went thru the red light.
Those dumb, silly, small moments all stacked on top of each other make for a really great story. They make all the big moments seem small, knowing that all the big moments will just be broken down into hundreds of little small moments. A High School graduation, or a wedding, will be remembered in that small moment where they caught their Dad picking his nose in the car. Or when one of us tripped, or some other very small little thing that means nothing to you and EVERYTHING to us.
Happiness is knowing all the past we share makes the future worth looking forward to. Makes the darkest clouds nothing more than a short storm. Knowing whatever it is, my girls will be searching for the small moment to share with me later, and them knowing that I am doing the same thing. It’s like how your favorite moment in your favorite movie is never the big known line. It’s never “You’re Killing Me Smalls”, it’s the way Benny The Jet is looking at Ham from under the table when he’s explaining how to make a Smore, or how Tommy Timmons catches the glove Squints throws on their way to argue with the other baseball team.
I love this life. I love being a Dad so damn much…