I had to take a bit of reprieve from posting as of late, while I dug deep into other work, some of it social change development and some of it artistic development. But over the last few days, I’ve tried to sit back a moment and let my mind run where it wants to run.
It takes less than a second to land on four people who leave me breathless with gratitude.
My kids, of course. In that way, I’m the biggest of cliches. All parents think their children are one rung below the sun.
Still, I can’t help but think mine really are.
I feel like my life’s top pursuit is like this guy in the photo above: I’m going down the tracks of life, camera in hand, capturing what they do. Then in quiet moments I flip through the images and live them all over again.
Again, this is Captain Obvious stuff, right? Dad loves kids, film at 11. No breaking news here. But, when I do take the time to flip through the images of our lives together I feel again how they inspire me. And I miss them. They are my best friends. I can never have them around too much, even when they annoy the hell out of me (actually, we all know its more the other way around).
I silently cheer when my son almost convinces me to take the Libertarians seriously this election (almost… but, no…) and then backs that up with a remarkable post about a homeless lady and dog. I recall memory after memory where his huge heart shows through.
I swell when I think of my oldest asking me for connections to volunteer in her new community before she seeks a job. I recall the mountain of memories where she’s reached out to help others, including all of us in her family.
I connect back to a recent time when my “favorite” daughter (as she calls herself) recites vows to her new stepchildren on her wedding day, and I tear up again for the 17th (and counting time).
I glance again at The Youngest One, who is so determined to meld classiness, art and impact into a career path that won’t be easy, but I know… I know… will be thrilling and important and delightful and I couldn’t want anything more for her. Screw the backup plan, I whisper again. Life your life.
My kids may fly close to the sun in my eyes, but they are nowhere close to perfect, which relieves me. I see them for who they are, not characters I want them to be, and I admire them all the more. They have rough edges (as their incredible spouses can lovingly attest) and dichotomies and some ugly traits too, because, after all, they are my kids. I see my fingerprints on them and wince.
But when you stare at the beauty of the sun you don’t fret too much about the edges. They will figure all that out. That’s not my job.
My job is to cheer them on and enjoy my place in the audience of their lives.
I love my job.