So there are these moments…..these clairvoyant pieces in time when everything makes sense and fall together so perfectly you can’t help but wonder if they weren’t pre destined to be that way. Its an amazing place to be and even more ful filling when they happen in parenthood. You often walk through raising your son or daughter in a haze of self doubt and worry about whether or not things are going the way they should and how much impact will you mistakes make on this person’s [your child’s] life?
But in these moments these clear crisp wonderful moments you realize how much of a blessing it is that you have been tasked with the job of raising another human being. It feels good and you feel proud. Sometimes it happens when they finally clean their room or put away their clothes without you telling them. When you see them excel at something you KNEW they would be good at but THEY didn’t. It happens when you hear from someone else how wonderful you child is when you aren’t there watching their every move. As a parent you live for these moments. They help validate the work you are doing and keep you sane.
I had such a moment and it felt surreal.
On my weekends with my daughters I am brutally selfish; if you spend time with me AND them I must think highly of you. If you spend time with just them…then you must be family to me or should fear for your life. In either case sitting in the back of a gypsy cab with a friend and my two daughters I was already amazed at how comfortable I felt with his conversation with them. [sidenote: many of your friends are good people but may not know how to interact with children].
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Daughter 1: “A WNBA player”.
Daughter 2 : “I want to be a singer”.
“Really a signer, well then sing me something then!
“Why not? Come on if you want to be a singer you got to be able to sing *snaps fingers* like that”
At this point I was ready to intervene to let my friend know my daughter was shy and the conversation was nearing its end. But then….
“Ok. What should I sing?”
“What song do you want to sing?’
“I’ll sing an Alicia Keys song”.
When my friend turned down the radio in the cab everyone listened intensely to the melody floating up from her small 11 year old diaphragm. It was amazingly clear and hypotonic; the kind of melody you would expect to hear from a seasoned vocalist. I was shocked and happy all at the same time. My first thought was “When did THAT happen?!?” my second thought was a bit more selfish, “I made THAT!!”. I didn’t call up the Voice or American Idol right away (I thought about it) but I did respect and love my daughter even more in that moment. Now her saying she wanted to sing meant something else – she has a legitimate talent that as her father I have to cultivate.
My thoughts rushed to when she was 3 and only loved chicken nuggets and French fries. When she was 2 years old and would hmm songs off the radio in her car seat and stop the minute I turned around to look at her. I remembered when she would dance in the house….now….this.
It was one of those moments.
-A Single Dad