“Daddy, daddy, daddy” that sweet soft voice is calling me as the wipers go back and forth and push the raindrops off my windshield. I reach my hand back and those tender little fingers wrap around my fingers, and they pull my hand back and forth and I’m taken back earlier in the day remembering our wonderful time that we had together…
“Train, train, train!” My son is excitedly running ahead of me and the sunshine and warm breeze make this day perfect in every way. As we stroll down the sidewalk and up the creaking wooden walkway to the train spotting deck, I can’t stop thinking about how contagious his excitement is. There’s a magical feeling when you pick up a child who is wholly consumed with the moment, in awe of the experience they are having. It is truly incredible.
As the train rounds the bend, the crossing guards go down, the bells ding ding ding, and the engine rolls by with that rhythmic swooshing sound. The cars creak and rattle, and the my son’s face lights up with a beautiful smile. He is happily immersed in the experience, and as I hold him in my lap, I can’t help but feel so amazingly alive, so happy, so hopeful.
These are the kind of moments I want to capture and remember forever. The photographs, the memories, the feelings that I have inside are the times and treasures that make being a father so incredible. In a time when we have to work so hard for what we have, and there are so many challenges every single day, it’s easy to lose site of the people and moments that matter the most. Years ago when I was just a kid, I swore to myself that I would never let my adult responsibilities steal away the time that I want to have with my son.
I was idealistic back then, and I didn’t understand the challenges that adult life brings with it, but even today, with a huge dose of reality in play, I still believe that I can prioritize every day to make time for what matters most. I believe that I can pattern each day according to my priorities, and make an impact on the lives of those that I love.
As the last car on the train passes by, the gates go back up, and the cars and people start to walk over the tracks again, I hoist my son onto my shoulders and we start walking back home. He is babbling away in his toddler voice and telling me all sorts of wonderful things. Some of them I understand clearly, and some I can’t quite discern yet, so I just agree, and we walk and talk together.
“Daddy, daddy, daddy!” That beautiful small voice is calling out again to me as we’re driving home, and I reach back and towards his car seat. He grabs my hand and with that small firm grasp he reminds me that I have one of the coolest and most important jobs in the world. Being a dad.