Being a Dad…”the small things”
Hiking in the Desolation Wilderness and learning to fish together at Pinecrest Lake are memorable moments with my son. Going to Paris with my daughter when she turned 16 or hiking to Yosemite falls when she was six are truly beautiful moments we both treasure.
There are memories I have with both them of playing Beatles music in the morning when they got up or for a while the Brandenbeurg Concertos. Wanting us to have an inspiring day! Getting the lunches ready and making sure they had all the stuff they need for school. Those routines are probably just a blur for them…but there were a lot of them!
It is the small moments that they are probably unaware of that often fill my memory and heart. Times of just holding my son close and trying to help him calm down at 3 AM or the quite walks we would take in the early morning, maybe in the front pack or maybe just holding him wrapped in a blanket. Walking through the neighborhood with my daughter in the front pack and bending over for her to smell a rose when she was maybe 5 months old…changing their diapers, giving them a bottle holding and walking them when them seemed inconsolable and reassuring them…
Sharing these “small beginning of life things” with my kids was a special intimacy. Although often tired and confused as a young father I persevered, summoned my patience and looked for the “beauty in the moment.” I came to see how vulnerable we all begin life, how dependent on others for our daily survival we are. I came to appreciate my kids in the tenderest of ways and I think I came to appreciate the world and myself a little more tenderly too.
I know many of these early moments they won’t remember. But I do, I can still feel them in my body…how I would hold each of them close and wiper I love you in their ear’s. I do hope that perhaps in a small way as they were growing up, and as adults now, they might be a little more secure and comfortable being in the world because of these early experiences we had together. Out walking this morning I could feel the tenderness and specialness of having those early years together, before they could even speak, when just our eyes and being in my arms was the way we would communicate. I hold them now … a few tears dripping on the keyboard as I reflect back and feel them in my heart right here now….