Monday, February 4, 2013

Because I Was There

To my son Tommy,

Your mom is out watching your Aunt Debbie at Center Stage tonight. Aunt Debbie was invited to tell a story on stage about parenting and her life and we are all excited for her. Your mother and I were recently discussing and agreed that we work together better as a team, but many times in our life we have to do more of a tag-team approach to taking care of you. Tonight just happens to be one of those tag team nights, so it is just you and me.

I have you fed and have only the basic tasks of bath time and bed time to accomplish. Right now you have conned me into 30 minutes more of Disney Jr before tubby time. As you sat and watched the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I decided to clean and straighten the living room.

You have way too many toys and way too many of them downstairs instead of up in your room and way too many of them strewn across the floor. I would say it is because of a new schedule, but that would be ignoring the fact that even if we have all the time in the world this is a constant battle. You are starting to get better with cleaning yourself but it takes much prodding.

As I picked up various toys and accessories, I realized very few could do this job without so many questions. I picked up an odd piece of plastic that said "too cute" and where someone else would have no idea, I instantly recognized it as the license plate to this one car you got for Christmas. How do I know for sure? Well because I was there of course. I was there when you unwrapped and I was there when you begged for it to be opened and I was there when we first played with it. I continued cleaning and often chuckled to myself on how without hesitation I knew what so many strange items were and could even recall a story for each.

It dawned on me that so many aspects of my life are better understood because I was there at the beginning. I have worked at my job so long that what is a question for many is second nature to me. I was there when we created the software and of course had a major hand in that and still do. I was there each time the procedure changed and can tell you a story as to why we do it this way now. I do my job better because of all this experience and all this extra understanding and because I was there in the beginning.

Then it occurred to me this is how I understand you so well, because I was there. Maybe I should use "we" here, because this same line of thinking applies to both me and your mother. We are a team. So we understand you because we were there from the beginning. We were there for your first word, your first step, and every little aspect of your life. Even the ones we missed individually, we were still both there in a way. We know every little look on your face, we know what makes you happy and what makes you sad. We know you.

So as you go through life, give credit and respect for experience. Understand that those that were there from the beginning and listened and learned and cared for you, deserve your respect and more. Those that stick by you no matter what and are still by your side to this day and forever more, are those that truly matter. Remember anyone can come in and do the job, but it will be done better and easier by those who truly understand how we got to this point. A maid could come clean our house but there would be no way of knowing that this little figurine on your desk is Noah and really belongs with his ark at you Bwama's house. And though there will be times in your future teenage life where you will feel that your parents don't even know who you are, remember we were there from the beginning and we know you better than you think. Just something to keep in mind as we all grow older and up together.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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