Thursday, October 13, 2011

Being There

On the way home from taking the Christmas presents purchased thus far up to the office to hide in the storage room, a song came on that moved me.

It's not that this doesn't happen often. Music is a huge part of my life. It can alter moods. It can make you remember. It can make you happy. It can make you sad. It can make you angry. It can make you want to drive really, really, REALLY fast. It's fun to listen to in your ear pieces as you jog... it's motivational, it'e emotional, it's just something that I'd die without (okay, not really, well, ok, pretty close to maybe.)

Anyway, it wasn't a song I'd typically listen to because, well, the artist's voice kinda grates on my nerves (it's like Reba... I can listen to ONE of her songs and by the end I'm ready to claw my ears off because her voice gets on my nerves). But, as soon as I saw the title come up, I remembered hearing it years ago. And frankly, when you're from the south, classic country is just part of your life. I hesitated with my finger on the button but then thought, "You know, I'd like to hear the story in the song." I really like knowing the stories behind the songs.... and sometimes, it's amazing to see the parallel in my own life.

So I drove... and he sang. And I drove some more.... and he kept singing... and then my eyes filled up with tears as it just hit me. The most important thing you can do... as a parent is to BE THERE. To be present both in mind and body.

When they want your attention, put your phone down, get off the computer, turn off the television. GIVE THEM YOUR ATTENTION. I mean, YOU want THEIR attention when you talk to them? Why don't they get the same respect?

(and while this is my confessional, I will say, forgive me readers, for I have sinned.... it's been a long time since my last confessional. I'm just as guilty as the next person with my screen time. Please forgive me. Amen)

I started thinking how (and this is totally cliche) isn't it great when you realize that the little things in life really ARE the big things?

Like, last weekend for instance, I was there. I got to be THE ONE to see my son score his first touchdown run. I was there. I got to celebrate and scream and jump and be proud. I wasn't just having to hear about it -- I was there! I lived it!

When Drew made his first live hit during this, his first season of coach-pitch, I was there.

I am BLESSED to be there to live the moments with them.

I am BLESSED to see them not only be proud of themselves for accomplishing something they always wanted to or always hoped for, but also to see people celebrate their accomplishments alongside.

I am BLESSED to be there. Because, after all being there, is so important.

My aspirations when I was growing into adulthood were narcissistic (as are anyone's) because it's all about ME and what I want and what I'm going to do and how much money I'm going to make and... we dream and we grow and hopefully we do grow enough to understand that it really isn't all about us after all... ESPECIALLY when you have kids.

You have dreams still...but you also have dreams for them. I'm not going to say that I dream for my son to be a doctor or an attorney or a rocket scientist (though, that'd be pretty darn cool), but I dream more for them to be fulfilled and happy... obedient... loving... sociable... generous... compassionate humans... who are present in their OWN lives.

I'm so sad for Josh's biological dad who lives in another state, a 2-hour plane ride away. He doesn't get to be there. I realize that it was his choice to move away, but I wonder if he ever realized all the little things that he was choosing to miss. How sad for him... because I can see a parallel in the song lyrics to his/Josh's life, too.

As a mom, I have an EXTREMELY thankless job... it's harder than anything I've ever done. IT's stressful. It's 24/7. It's demanding. But, I will continue to do whatever I have to do... to just be there. Because as Aerosmith says, "I don't wanna miss a thing."

Oh, and the song. It was called "I Wish I Could Have Been There" by John Anderson.

When our baby Kate was born it was the biggest day of my life
Lying there, little bows in her hair
In the loving arms of my wife
I was the proudest papa in the USA
Makin' a living on the road somewhere a thousand miles away

It was a happy day, but kinda' sad
And I wish I coulda' been there
Yea I wish I coulda' been there
I wish I coulda been there for that

Little Bobby hit his first home run
He was the hero of the home town crowd
Two to one, it was a winning run
Everybody was cheering loud
And mommy she was smilin' saying he's a chip off of the old block
But I was on the road somewhere between Memphis and Little Rock

It was a happy day but kinda' sad
And I wish I coulda' been there
Yea I wish I coulda' been there
I wish I coulda' been there for that

Now Bobby and Kate are all grown up
And moved away
They stay in touch
We're proud of the two good kids we raised
And it's hard to believe we are celebrating our twenty fifth year today
This party's nice but the kids aren't here
At least they called to say
Congratulations mom and dad

I wish we could have been there
I wish we could have been there
I wish we could have been there for that
It was a happy day, but kinda' sad
And I wish they could have been there
Yea I wish they could have been there
I wish they could have been there, for that

Take a listen.

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