Am I missing something? Man, I don’t know what it is about getting older, but I almost always feel like I’m missing something, forgetting something, or just plain lost something.
That’s NOT what this blog is about. No, this blog is actually about something that you can’t see. It’s about something you can’t pick it up and grasp between your fingers. You can’t bounce on it, push on it, pull on it, wear it, drive it, nothing like that. Recently, I’ve been missing something a lot though.
There’s been a lot of time missing recently. Time is a tricky thing, isn’t it? You know what’s crazy about time? It means something different for every single one of us. Every one of us will live to be a certain age. When our time is up, so are we. Brutal, huh?
Some people seem like they have all the time in the world, while others rush around at an extraordinary pace on a daily basis. Some people don’t seem to age at all, where others have more gray hair every single time you see them. People work different hours, so some people spend more time than others during their daily commute. Others may work a graveyard shift, and miss most of the traffic. They have “extra” time, huh?
Not really. That’s the answer to the above question. We all have the same hours in the day. We all have the same amount of minutes, and the same amount of seconds in every single day. Well, until our time is up I suppose.
So, back to my original point about me missing something…
My kids are growing up. There is a period of my life that seems to be missing. It’s somewhere between the “Oh my God, we’re about to have a baby” to “Oh my God, I have four kids. Four!” Somehow, I have managed to change my kid’s diapers and I’ve managed to see them say their first words. I’ve managed to watch them crawl for the first time and I’ve managed to watch them walk for the first time. I’ve actually helped them all ride their bikes and dribble a basketball. I’ve watched them learn to read. I’ve managed to watch all four of them grow into beautiful little ladies.
For some reason, I still like I’m missing time with them. I feel like I’m not there enough. I’m divorced, so my oldest two spend half of their lives living with their mom. I miss that. I miss all of that. Every second they’re there, they’re growing up. They’re passing milestones. They’re experiencing life without me. To be perfectly honest with you, it kind of sucks.
You know what? I’m OK with that. I think they’re OK with that too. Choices were made in the past, that cannot be undone, and our situation is what it is. That doesn’t mean I’m not missing something.
I got a new job a few months ago, and I finally stopped bartending. So far, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Do you want to know why? Time, that’s why. Although I’m actually working more hours at this new job, I’m actually spending more time with each one of the kids. When I get home from work, I get greeted at the door almost every day by two of the loveliest ladies ever (OK, sometimes three, if their mom is near). I am finally to the point where I get to see my oldest two girls at least part of the day, four times a week. I don’t know how I could describe just how incredibly important that is to me.
I know I can’t just magically make lost time reappear. I know I have the same amount of time tomorrow as I did today. What I can do, is relish the moments. I can enjoy things that make me happy, things that make my lips curl into a smile. Things I appreciate now, are appreciated ten-fold what they were even a year ago. I am trying my hardest to forge a new path in my life. It’s not easy. I get sidetracked sometimes. I have games on my phone. I have an Instagram, a Facebook, and a Timehop.
Tonight, one of my daughters had a sleepover at a friend’s house. When I got home my wife was folding laundry. After changing out of my work clothes, I went into the living room where the kids had all gathered. One of the kids asked for some music so they could dance. I obliged, and they tried to pull me off the couch to dance with them. I told them “no.” I had a pretty tough day at work, I was tired, and my body ached.
After a few minutes of watching them dance, I thought to myself “What a wasted opportunity.” It really was.
I got up, changed the upbeat music to some slower music, and I pulled them close, I spun them like tops, and I dipped them like the clumsy guy I am. One of my daughters asked if I would dance a whole song with just her. I cupped her little left hand into my right, put my left hand behind her back and swayed her back and forth. Every time I looked down at her she was smiling up at me with the biggest grin, her eyes shining bright as ever.
When my youngest daughter asked to be next, I attempted to have that same connection, just on a slightly different level. After a minute or so, she wanted to be done dancing like that, and for me to just spin her and twirl her. The smile on her face let me know I was doing something right.
My oldest daughter, MacBook in her lap, iPhone in her hand, ignored us for the most part. Occasionally she would say “Why do you keep playing these depressing songs?” It’s been a long time since I had danced with this particular daughter, but tonight I wasn’t going to be missing any time. I pulled her hand towards me until she had no choice but to get up. She looked every bit of frightened as I’d imagined she’d be (and her friends weren’t even there watching). About thirty seconds in, she was asking me to dip her as well, after I spun her around the living room a little bit.
It may not seem like much to you, but it sure meant a heck of a lot to me. And you know what? Tonight, I didn’t really feel like I was missing something.