To say that my daughter (who turns 11 in a few months) has me wrapped around her finger is an understatement. I’m guilty as charged. My wife tells me that I am too lenient with her and that is true. But I can’t help myself. She is our first-born, our only daughter. She’s daddy’s little girl. And sometimes she’s a little too smart for us. A few nights ago she told me that it seems like I never spend time with her. Ouch. That stung.
Lately I have felt like I have over-committed myself. It seems like I have volunteered for too many things, planned too many things, worked too many hours, set overly ambitious and time-consuming goals. In a nutshell, as my kids are growing older, I am feeling like my time with them is getting shorter.
I’d like to think that my kids will always want to hang out with their parents but i know (from experience) that the desire to spend time with your parents starts all warm and fuzzy in elementary school and takes a huge dip through junior high and high school until it begins its upswing again in college and beyond.
This evening, I met the kids at the school for “Meet the Teacher” night. Because my wife is the PTA president, she was pretty busy running around but I was happy to have the chance to take each kid to see their teacher. My wife had already taken them around but it was a plus that I had enough time to do it as well. When we got home, the boys went to bed and I got some awesome one on one time with my daughter.
We chatted about what she was most looking forward to this school year (which starts monday: year round schools in NC). Then we talked about the Red Sox who are currently on a rain delay. Then we started watching some video clips of Glee songs on YouTube. I talked to her about Cory Monteith and about death and about loneliness and drug and alcohol abuse. Really tough stuff.
We watched their version of Don’t Stop Believin’ and then talked about how annoying it is that Steve Perry says “Yust a smalltown girl” instead of “Just” in Journey’s version.
We must have watched 20 videos, singing along and talking about how great the harmonies were or how creative the song medleys were. When I looked at the clock I realized we were an hour past her bedtime but I didn’t care. It was our time together. Just her and me.
I’m going to do this again. And again. Don’t stop believin’ that you can’t make time for your kids.
P.S. After I put my daughter to bed tonight a friend emailed me a link to this video. Fitting…and touching. Enjoy.