Sometimes I tend to get caught up in my own little whirlwind of everyday chatter. Get up, make the coffee, pack the lunch, wake the family, drive to work. Then it’s do the work, make the money, pretend you get along with everybody, get through the day. After that it’s sweat at the gym, pick up my son at school, get home and make dinner, pick up the house, clean up dinner, shower, and melt into my chair till it’s time to go to bed.
It’s a routine. Routines are good. At least they are for me. But occasionally I peek outside of the routine. There’s a detour from the norm and that’s when I can look back on things and see all those oddities that I tend to lose sight of. The moments that deviate and make the day brighter. Hitting the comic book store before heading home with my son. Picking up my 12 year old after school and grabbing a chocolate chip frappuccino and a pastry and just sitting and enjoying them with her before we head out to the regular day. The wife and I grabbing some frozen custard at 9pm before we have to pick up our oldest after marching band. These aren’t huge moments. They’re 15 minutes here, or 30 minutes there. But I’m coming to realize the little moments add up.
Maybe it’s just how my wife and I have raised our children, but they’re just as appreciative of a stop at the video store or a $12 Lego set than they are of a trip to Fort Wayne(big city for us, folks) and $300 worth of clothes shopping. They still talk about going and getting frozen yogurt on a Saturday afternoon, then watching some ridiculous horror movie from two years ago as if it was the greatest thing ever. I can’t ask for anything more(well, maybe cleaning up after themselves in the bathroom) when it comes to those little moments.
My son still, at 10 years old, every night gives me a hug and a kiss before bed and says “Goodnight daddy. I love you, I’ll always love you.” Every night. I know at some point this routine will stop. I know at some point I’ll be hard pressed to remember such a small detail, but for the moment I will continue to appreciate that small detail. I can remember doing the same thing with my dad when I was his age(or maybe younger.) I got older and the hugs and the “I love you” sort of faded from my dad and I’s routine. We knew that we loved each other. Then just a couple years ago out of the blue I started hugging my dad and telling him I loved him whenever he was leaving our house or I was leaving his. Just like that. I didn’t want him to ever have a doubt about how I felt about him. I’ve always done this with my mom. From day one. I guess I figured why should it be any different for my dad?
What’s all the point of this? I guess it’s that occasionally it’s good to peek out from that heavy everyday curtain. It’s good to open the clock face and see the gears turning. The gears that turn our lives are the small, seemingly insignificant moments that we take for granted. Like the chocolaty coffee drink with your daughter, or picking up Ultimate Spiderman No. 6 before heading home after school. Enjoying some maki rolls quietly at the kitchen table with your wife, or picking up a pizza with your oldest out of the blue and talking about what horror movie you’re going to stream that night.
And most importantly, that nightly routine of “Goodnight Daddy. I love you, I’ll always love you”, for however long it lasts. And if you’re lucky, maybe it’ll come back someday.
Sorry, minor detour. Back to music tomorrow. Promise.