Being an older gentleman, I have experienced lots of things in
my life. And, as any parent will tell you, nothing compares with
having kids. There are certain things in your life that will
change, and you can only understand this if you either have kids,
or are lucky enough to spend a lot of time around them.
My saying is, you have no idea how much you can love
someone until you have a kid.
You know how we all get certain songs stuck in our heads from
time to time. We end up humming it to ourselves all day long,
sometimes even to the point of annoyance. When we have kids, the
songs you get stuck in your head may change.
There is nothing quite as charming as going to work, and maybe
being in a meeting with a room full of functional adults, and
having "Wee Willie Winkie" repeating inside your skull over and
You may be talking to your boss, discussing important business-
things, but in your head, you are hearing:
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...
You are shocked to discover you know the words to the second
and third verses as well:
Build it up with iron bars, iron bars, iron bars...
Iron bars may bend and break, bend and break, bend and break...
And in fact, before you had the kid, you probably didn't know
there even WAS a second and third verse.
Now, even though I only have one kid, as they progress through
the various stages of baby, toddler, pre-teen, and teenager
wannabee, it is almost as if you have had several different
kids. As usual, I will use The Daughter as an example.
The Daughter: Age 2
Through memories, photos, and videos, I nostalgically observe
this wonderful, sweet little girl as she learns how to walk, talk,
and become her own person. We have The Daughter at age 2.
The Daughter: Age 5
We have a little person with whom we can now interact with.
She lovingly grabs me and hugs me. Hearing her tiny little
voice saying 'Daddy' is about the sweetest sound I have ever
heard in all my life.
Our TV fare includes Arthur, Elmo's World, and Barney.
Like other parents, this is the stage where I learn to
The Daughter: Age 8
She plays games with me, we go to movies together, and go on
bike rides. We have stretched our entertainment horizon to
include Spongebob, Dragon Tales, and Cyberchase.
This is just a fabulous age.
The Daughter: Age 10
It just keeps getting better and better.
She is smart and funny. We go to the Daddy-Daughter dance
on Valentine's day. She still tolerates my presence and
continues to acknowledge my existence. Life is good.
The Daughter: Age 12
All good things must come to an end.
I am not allowed to touch her (which means no hugs).
I speak only when spoken to.
I am allowed to chauffeur her to different places and
to friends' houses.
I am also permitted to fund her extra-curricular activities.
But I know she still loves me...she is just not as demonstrative
as she once was. And often, I catch glimpses of the sweet little
thing I used to know.
Projecting The Daughter at Age 15:
She will probably allow me to teach her how to (gasp) drive.
She will also realize by then that she is not getting a Vette.
Projecting The Daughter at Age 21:
She will be excelling in her college education (resulting from a
Scholarship) so she can get a good job that she likes and make a
lot of money.
Projecting The Daughter at Age 30:
I will be babysitting my grandchildren.
She will be supporting me in the lifestyle I have become accustomed to.
Projecting The Daughter at Age 40:
She will attend my funeral and will know that I was the best
daddy I could possibly be. She will forgive me for all the times
I have failed her, and keep me in her memory all her life. She
will remember how much I loved her and always did the best
that I could.
Peace be with you.