I’d like to share a story with you. I warn you it is tragic and has no happy ending. But it is important. Sadly, I’ve seen this story play out again and again, though with different details. And admittedly, this is a compilation of multiple stories with some dramatic license taken on my part. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (and keep from shaming the guilty). You probably know these people or some like them.
The lead singer of one of my favorite bands of the 90s and 00s has gone…I hate to say it…country. Darius Rucker, lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish, recently released a country album, “Learn to Live.” Some friends let me borrow the cd. Surprisingly, I like it. I guess I’m going soft in my music as I get older. Or maybe it’s just because despite the country sounding instrumentation, the voice is still Darius Rucker.
As much as I liked it, I couldn’t help but laugh as I listened to the first song, “Forever Road,” in which the singer promised to be committed to the woman to whom he was singing no matter what. They would work out every problem because they were walking on “Forever Road.” Then I listened to the second song, “All I Want.” In this one, the singer tells the woman he says he loves that the relationship just won’t work and it isn’t worth it to work on the problems so she can take the house, the car and even all the money he makes off this song, “All I want you to leave me is alone.” I kept laughing when the third song, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” was all about the regret of leaving a woman and finding out that she had married someone else. He wondered where they might be today if he had just turned around instead of being so filled with pride.
Another interesting contrast was between songs 9 and 10—“Drinkin’ and Dialin’” and “I Hope They Get To Me In Time.” Song 9 is about a drinker who wants everyone to forgive him if he calls them while he’s drunk. The first verse talks about him waking up with an old girlfriend trying to put together all the dots of what happened the night before. Song 10, however, is about a man who has been in a wreck because of a drunk driver. His life is flashing before his eyes as he hears the sirens and hopes they get to him in time.
Song 11, “While I Still Got the Time,” is the song of a middle-aged man wanting to turn over a new leaf while he still has the time. Finally, by song 12, he’s back to having the perfect woman. In fact, she’s so perfect he warns every other man who doesn’t want to settle down, they need to “Be Wary of a Woman” like his.
The real reason I bring this album up on family day, however, is because of song 8, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long.” It tells the story of a young father up all night because his newborn little girl was up all night. His wife tells him it will be alright; “It Won’t Be Like This for Long.” Then his little girl is 4 years old and going to preschool. When he drops her off, she’s caterwauling and won’t let go of him. The teacher peels her off his neck and he says, “What can I do?” She lets him know it’s not a big deal because “It Won’t Be Like This for Long.” In a week or two, he’ll leave and she won’t even know he’s gone. The man realizes in a little while, she’ll be a teenager, he’ll think she hates him some times. Then he’ll take her down the aisle and leave her with someone else.
I made Marita listen to this song so we could cry about it together. One-year-old Trina danced around the room oblivious to our tears. Eleven-year-old Tessa was up in her room reading. Though I hadn’t heard this song until last night, I live with its message every day. It was just yesterday Tessa was dancing around the room, barely able to stay on her feet. Now she’s 11. In another day or two, she’ll be leaving us for her own family. Then right behind her Ethan, Ryan and finally Trina.
Of course, I know there are all kinds of rewards from grown children and hopefully from their children as well. However, it just reminds me that it won’t be like this for long. Tessa will only be 11 for one year. Trina will only be 1 for one year. It would be awful for me to waste that time just writing on this blog, keeping up with Facebook and Twitter or trying to make money.
Another song on the album was “History in the Making.”
The singer was actually talking about his first kiss with some girl. They needed to savor the moment because they were making a memory, it was history in the making. He was singing about a girlfriend. But the principle is the same for my family. Each day is history in the making. We are creating memories. One day, my children will sit around talking about what things were like when they were young. What kind of memories will they share? Will they remember Mom and Dad sitting at their various computers keeping up with old high school buddies or will they remember us playing games, talking, working together.
I’m not saying there is no time for keeping up with blogs or other work. I’m just saying, it won’t be like this for long. As you hand off your kids to someone else or drop them off at their college dorm, you won’t look back and wish you had spent more time on the computer. Trust me on this one.