There used to be music in the room whenever she would nap. The music was quiet with a calm, celestial feel and deep tones to soothe the mind. We played this to act as a lullaby to make her sleep.
There was a little noise machine too, which was a constant hushing sound to act as a cushion and drown out the ambient noise.
Her crib was perfect. Her room was decorated perfectly for a baby girl. There was wallpaper with soft shades of lavender and white. I remember the room, and in my mind’s eye, I can feel the peacefulness of a baby’s breath. She was my little girl, sleeping peacefully, and I was always so amazed that I had the ability of creating something so beautiful.
This is life. Right here, right now.
There is so much going on and so much I wish I could help you with, which is not to say that you need my help at all, but more to the point, this means I wish I could be helpful to you.
There are tricks I’d love to teach you and stories I’d love to tell.
Even if you heard them before, I’d still love to tell you again.
There was a quiet little stream that ran down through the rocks on the side of a mountain. I remember that everything was so crisp and green. The leaves on the trees and the earth was deep and rich with color.
I had never walked in the mountains before. I never went on a hike or went anywhere other than my normal running grounds, which were less than beautiful and far from this colorful.
It was the end of summer, 1989. I was still feeling achy but the aches were improving. I was only in a few days, and by this point, I was unsure when I would ever be back home again.
I still say there is no theft worse than the theft of a childhood. I say that empty ball fields and playgrounds are a travesty. I say the act of playing or swinging on swing sets is a birthright.
I say that every kid must get dirty. This is essential. Kids should have to know what it means to scream as loud as they possibly can and run around as wild as they can be. Games are important. Playing is important. Imagination is just as important to the mind as air is to the lungs or food is to the belly. Nothing should ever get in the way of this.
There is a house over on Prospect that has never taken down their Christmas decorations. The house has been this way for years. Then again, I moved away years ago. Perhaps this has changed. Truth is I’m not sure.
Year round though, the house was dressed with an old holiday spirit that was never removed. It is unclear if anyone lived in the house. I’ve never seen anyone come in or out. The house is aged and weathered and the landscaping is unkempt to say the least. I’m sure the neighbors on either side do not appreciate the look. The houses in the community are moderately priced. Prospect Avenue is a main street, although, the neighborhood is otherwise suburban and the town is the place I grew up.
The world is connected by a body of water. We might be separated by the continents, but no matter how far away, no matter how distant the sea, connection is still connection.
I saw we are the same way. I say the same as the oceans have tides, so do we. We pull in and we pull out. Some days are calm, and some days our seas are rough. Such is life.
There will always be something for us to remember. Whether the moment is small or quick or if the time is bigger than ever, there will always be something for us to remember.
I take this idea to heart. And you should too.
One of my most influential memories is equally one of my most painful. However, the lesson I learned is unforgettable. More accurately, the one thing I learned is that we tend to hold onto things.
We carry the imaginary weight of our assumptions that lead us to conclusions. We argue and we fight when meanwhile, there is an entire world out there, just passing us by and then one day, we snap out of it.
We wake up. We turn around and wonder what happened or where the time went.
Unfortunately, regret is only in the aftermath and by the time we wake up, it is too late; we have allowed the trivial moments to take priority of times that really matter.
I am writing to you with hopes that this will follow you throughout your life. I hope this helps and if it does, I want you to take this thought with you no matter where you go.
I am also writing this with hopes that this follows you beyond all the apologies and all the attention to the moment at hand.
Also, I am writing this to you as a Dad and as a friend, as a person that looks around and wonders why life happens the way it does, and as someone that understands how the things we see will follow us around for the rest of our life
There will come a time when your youngest child is no longer young. And you will look back and wonder where the time went.
You will see them, grown and maturing, graduated with a cap and gown (or at least, hopefully) and they will be on their own,—they’ll be on their way into an entirely new life without the need for parental consent or supervision.
Maybe they’ll live close or maybe they’ll move away. Perhaps they will be married. Maybe they will become parents. If not married or acting as parents, maybe our children will move forward and find their way along a path which they have chosen for themselves.
Eventually, a time will come when our children are no longer children. And no matter how we see them; no matter what the memories are of the day when they came into the world, alas, a day will come when our children will be fully grown.