Today I just want to pull the covers over my eyes and be a little kid again. I want my parents to wake me up in the morning. I want to be oblivious to stress, bad news, and the outside world. I want to hide from anything scary. I want my dad to protect me from the boogie man. I want my dad to be coaching me from the sidelines during a little league game, where my biggest concern is making the contact between bat and ball. I want to be following in the footsteps of my dad in the snow as we go hunting. I want to be frustrated with my dad for making me wake up early (at like 8am) on a Saturday to stack logs and clear brush. I want my dad standing behind me, tussling my hair. I want these things and so much more, so many of the things that makes being a kid being a kid.
Today I am nowhere near the hospital, but Dad has been with me the entire time. During the last pose of yoga I slipped into a beautiful state of flow and had a touching conversation with Dad. As we loaded up and headed out to soccer I’ve told many stories involving Dad. On the drive we saw an albino bird that looked like a dove flying alongside of us, and I thought of Dad. At the soccer game as I saw Dominic hustle I knew Dad would be proud. As Gavin climbed the tree I know it made my dad smile. As the boys ran around chasing each other with squirt guns after the game (great call Becky!) I know he was giggling and would have loved to have jumped in. As I type this while I take a quiet moment as everyone else is eating lunch I feel his presence with me.
The reason that I am not with Dad today is that I know he wants me to be with my family right now. At first I thought it was for the boys and Becky, but something is helping me realize that it’s also for me. I’m watching the boys play and have fun. Dominic playing hard in his soccer game. Gavin climbing a tree. Both of them smiling and enjoying a squirt gun fight. I’m watching the parents play with their kids, spending time with them, playing with the squirt guns and giggling like little kids. It’s an oasis of happiness, of life, and of enjoying the moment. As this is all going on there is no stress, no fear, no responsibility, just life being enjoyed. This is the life that my dad wants me to live.
Several times today I’ve said that I just want to be a kid again. I want the playfulness, the love of life, the complete disregard of anything serious. But as I watch the boys play and enjoy the moment with them, as I am present with them, I know that I can be a kid again. Some of the bad stuff can and will still happen, but it’s up to me to decide how I will take it. In some cases I will have to man up and be an adult to do adulting, but, more often, I can choose to be a kid. I can choose to play, stay happy, and stay upbeat.
My dad has always done such a great job of living life like a child, high energy, upbeat, positive, and happy. He’s always been playful, joking, and inquisitive. He loves life and it shows in his smile and attitude. What he wanted me to see today was a reminder of that, a reminder of the life he wants me to lead, enjoying every moment of my life. He led me to get away so I see this, I remember this, and I share this with my family.
Dad, I love you and am so thankful for the gift you’ve given me today. I promise I will remember it and live it.