Back in the early 2000’s when I was going through my country music phase (What?! The ’90s had just ended and love songs with legit, lyrical content were non-existent, except in the country music genre) I ran across a tune by Trace Adkins titled “You’re Going to Miss This.”
Editor’s Note: Wow…what I thought was the early ’00s was actually 2008 so it appears my so-called “country music phase” lasted a little longer than a phase.
Adkins’ platinum-selling hit was about a young gal that, as she progressed through three stages of life, learns that one day the stuff she’s bitchin’ about she’s actually going to miss.
Things like being driving to school by her mom, her tiny apartment and then her noisy child-filled house.
Unlike Adkins’ song my entry will not be me complaining about things in my life I take for granted, but rather moments in my life that make me stop, watch, sometimes make me tear up and then wish I was recording for a time when the kids have flown the coup and Lis and I are alone on a rainy Sunday afternoon wishing the kids would call and dreaming that the moments I’m about to write about would return.
Holy smokes was that a run-on sentence?! I usually pride myself on not running on…point of that last ‘graph was that these moments are moments I want to capture in my mind forever so I can replay them when I’m older and my entourage has their own entourage.
On this list you won’t find our Saturday family days, because like Lis’ family does every Sunday, we hope to continue a tradition of spending time with our family.
You won’t find “Hanging Out Watching Sports with Lukas” on this list, nor will you find “Standing Hours in Line for Star Wars Movies.”
You won’t find “Daddy-Daughter Dates” and you won’t find “Trying to One Up Levi for the Best Joke at the Dinner Table.”
These are moments that dashed into my head before I wised up and thought, “This stuff better never end.”
Not in any order, here are 10 moments that when I see them happen, or just experienced them, I hear Adkins’ amazing (I had beautiful but … that’s just weird) baritone voice saying, “You’re going to miss this.”
1 – My Swinging, Swaying Angel
It’s another beautiful summer day, just after dinner, and I’m doing my post-supper chore of scrubbing the dishes.
Yes we have a dishwasher, but unfortunately my wife works at night so I have to do it for her.
Boo-yah! I love sexist jokes that piss everyone but my wife off!
Let’s get back to the dishes, the scrubbing, and then to the point of my intro … I stare outside and behind the dead tree in our backyard I see my daughter swinging.
There’s nothing so calm, so sweet, so beautiful, so innocent and that brings so much joy to me, than watching my daughter swing and sway.
We keep our kids so busy with activities that we want them to play, with technology we think they want to be in front of, that the simple freedom and innocence of a little girl on a swing set makes me stop and think about how simple and happy life can be, and how we try to over-complicate it. Did that make sense?
2 – Daughter-Dad(dy) Walks
Not a big fan of the word ‘daddy’ and thankfully my kids don’t say it – unless Lukas is trying to tick me off.
The daughter and I have been spending our evenings taking long walks at night. It’s been fun. I rarely get a word in, but it’s a wonderful time for her to word-vomit all over me, and boy is it a beautiful mess.
I’m sure we’ll have Daughter-Dad walks when she’s in adulthood, but they’ll be very few and very far between. For now I’ll relish in our trots and talks.
3 – Reading to Them
“But Dad, you haven’t read yet?!”
Ugh! It’s nearing 9 p.m., an hour past bedtime and I just want some Dad Time. But no! He wants me to read to him!
C’mon, don’t tell me you’ve never turned down reading to your kid. You have, and you feel guilty for it because after all it’s reading!
Yep, I’m going to miss this. (And they’re going to also!)
And I’ll miss it because it’s fun! Presently two of my three kids read on their own. In a little over a year (hopefully) all three will be. Then what? Who will I show off my vast array of voices to?
From reading Green Eggs and Ham in an angry Batman voice (next time try saying “Sam I Am” in a Batman voice, or even using Yoda’s), using a Valley Girl voice for Sister Bear from Berenstain Bears, using British accents for dogs only, or rapping the rhymes of any Dr. Seuss book, I love it and they love it! And we’ll miss it!
4 – Death Drives
“Death Drive” comes from an episode of our favorite show The Middle, and it refers to those drives after church on Sunday where you just get on the road and go. I love those. It’s family time in the minivan, it’s getting lost in the boondocks and trying to find our way back home, it’s just quality time, in a confined – yet moving – space, with us all together and no distractions to get in our way.
I’ll have more about The Middle before this season’s premiere, but click here to see why we love this show so much.
5 – Like Wannabe Athlete, Like … Wannabe Athlete
It’s mid-winter, mid-NFL season and we’ve just finished up two quarters of the (insert any team that happens to be on) game. Lukas disappears and I think, “Darnit, I lost him.”
Five minutes later he returns with baseball pants and long, yellow soccer socks on. A dark hoodie is covered by a weathered Aaron Rodgers No. 12 jersey. His gloves lay to the side as he laces up his cleats. It’s 30-degrees out, frozen snow on the ground. I say nothing.
You can read more about this awkward, could-it-actually-be-hereditary, thing where we play imaginary sports in the backyard and then keep track of our stats and/or tournament bracket, by reading my 10-year birthday tribute.
And/or just watch this video I made while secretly spying on him from the warmth of our home.
6 – Making Soundtracks for Toys
It’s returned. Lukas did it for a few years when he was little. Levi has taken it to another level.
An epic battle between blue Rebels playing cards and red Empire playing cards. It’s War with two decks, and Levi is once again humming a soundtrack to it. When the Empire takes the lead it’s the “Imperial March.” When a Jedi defeats a bounty hunter it’s “Rey’s Theme.”
And it’s not just with War. And it’s not just those two tracks. It’s with Legos, it’s with action figures, it’s Kylo Ren’s theme, it’s the “Main Title,” it’s Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Drake’s “Hotling Bling.” (Don’t ask.)
No matter what it is, it’s creative, and it’s great.
7 – Cruisin’
Maybe it’s because we just finished one, but I’ll miss bike rides. Again, one of those moments that I hope never end, but it’s fun to cruise the bike paths of our current hometown, on bikes, listening to Lia talk about how she wants to be first, Lukas fighting her off because … well, annoying sister is his favorite thing to do, and Levi – as mentioned above – humming a soundtrack to our ride.
8 – Summer Swims!
One of the reasons we love where we have made our home the last two years is because of the warm summers, and the number of community pools all within a 10-15 minute drive from home.
The kids love the water. Mom and Dad (that’s the wife and I) love the water. Together we love to take off after church on a Sunday, or even after work on a 98-degree evening, to head to the community pool, play a little Marco Rubio (aka Marco Polo), hide-and-seek, or just pretend we’re water polo players.
Again, we hope to one day own a house with a pool so we hope this continues forever, but for now, I know I’m going to miss lathering the kids up in suntan lotion (okay maybe not that part), grabbing our towels and heading to the community pool.
9 – UNO! Go Fish! Chutes & Ladders!
We love family game nights, and again, we hope this continues forever, but I know some day down the road we’ll gather for a holiday and wonder what game to play. I’ll shout “Uno!” and we’ll all (hopefully) smile and remember the days we would sit around the dinner table, play Uno, the winner licking the back of the card and sticking it on their forehead and us snapping a photo so we can keep track of how many ‘championships’ we won.
9.5 – “I’m hungry”
Last minute addition, but I’m going to miss Levi waking up at the crack of dawn, walking over to my side of the bed and whispering, “Dad…I’m hungry.”
He knows how to pour his own cereal. He can pour the milk if he wants to (do I want him to?). He can snag a bowl and spoon. But he doesn’t. Partly because he’s a pain, but partly because he wants me to.
some most mornings it sucks but soon that too will end and … then I can sleep in! Whoohoo!
10 – Sleeping Beauties
A likely favorite of all parents.
It’s been a long day. You’ve fought with the kids to clean up before bedtime. You’ve argued with them about bedtime. You’ve shouted the word “No!” repeatedly after they made a last-minute plea for a snack. You’ve explained to them over and over again about the importance of brushing your teeth. You just want 30 minutes of Dad Time to do nothing but decompose in front of some nonsensical TV program.
After those 30 minutes have turned into three hours, the guilt kicks in and you’re thinking, “Ugh! Why am I such a bad parent?” You walk down the stairs, stumble over stranded Legos, get your toe stuck on a pair of Star Wars underwear, and then stand over them as they sleep.
And you find yourself fighting off a tear.
After all the ups and downs of the day, the peace and calm of three sound asleep kids bring a warmness to my heart. I helped make these rugrats. I’m supposed to take care of them. They rely on me to support them, lead them, teach them. And I have no idea what I’m doing!
Yes, these thoughts occasionally flee in and out of my mind at night. I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss them in my care, under our roof, driving them around, riding bikes, the bedtime battle, the early morning “I’m hungry,” the walks, the talks all of it.
And as Adkins’ chorus tells us:
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
I do already.
Have a moment you’re going to, or already do, miss? Share in the comments below.