Swee’Pea and TheMonk are almost one month into their sixth year. I look at them and I marvel at how much they have grown, at how mature they look, at how much they know about the world around them. I am struck by their level of understanding complex issues and how their social skills are blossoming before my eyes. This time of their life is truly an amazing time.
And yet it’s also the exact same age that I lost my father almost 34 years ago.
It is a painful reminder of what my own father missed. It’s also a reminder for me that every day is a gift and that no amount of crankiness or messy rooms or dirty fingerprints on walls will matter more than the time I get to spend with my children. Almost 34 years later and I have very few memories of my father. If something were to happen to me today, even though I have tried my hardest to leave an indelible impression on the my children, I fear that they won’t remember me. They won’t remember holding my hand on the first day of school. They won’t remember snuggles in the quiet early mornings. They won’t remember how my lips felt on their cheeks or how my arms felt wrapped around them in a powerful hug full of love. They won’t remember tickle monsters or butterfly kisses or anything more but faint images of my face and a sense of who their father might have been. Just like how I remember my own father.
So I am once again reminding myself that every day is a gift. It’s an opportunity to impart wisdom, teach valuable skills, mold values and share love. It’s an opportunity to dance in the streets and share laughs and giggles and hugs and kisses. Today is another day to tell them how much I love them and help them become confident and caring adults. It’s another day to be thankful for what I have – beautiful children, a loving wife, a career that I love – and that realizing that far too many people lose out on what I have at this moment. I am lucky indeed.
And for the first time, I have another baby to help mold and, like my brother who was only a year old when our father died, she would have no memory of me if something were to happen. And because I know that ultimately I don’t have control over when it’s my time to go, I contine to write this blog for her. As Swee’Pea and TheMonk get older, they will form their own memories but m&m (baby’s blog name) would not have that luxury. This blog is a testament to the love I have for my children and I write in it as a way to show them how much I love being their daddy. My hope is that someday I can share these stories with them and we’ll laugh about how crazy their Daddy was. But I also know it’s a way of recording my thoughts and hopes for my kids to know me in a way I never knew my father.
Six years old. It’s a lifetime. 3 weeks is too. 40 years seems like a lifetime but I know that each day adds to the gift that I have been given and I’m going use each day to the best dad, the best husband, the best person I can be.
Each day is a new beginning. Seize it.
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