Time gets away. Don’t let the stories get away, too.
A lot has happened in the past couple of years since I last posted (an absence that I am ashamed of), and I hope to catch you up on that over time.
My youngest son moved out as his career took off, I got married and moved, new grandsons have joined the McInnis clan, I’ve had a job, been laid off, tried some new ventures, the other sons have had job changes and growth…a lot has happened. One thing hasn’t changed: daddin’ still brings me great joy.
The stockings on the mantle reflect some of the changes and growth over the years. There are now six grandkids ranging from 2 to 9 represented there. Two daughters in-law and one “special gal,” and my wife. One dog stocking is missing; poor Lacey had to be put to sleep because of her health issues and another dog stocking was added (my wife adopted a miniature Schnauzer a couple of years before we married). Life goes on.
Maybe that is why the last chapter of Daddin’: The Verb of Being a Dad is titled “Livin’.” Of course that is why! Life goes on in its beautiful, unfolding, surprising, complicated, simple, joyous, sad, confusing, clear way. Don’t forget to enjoy and remember the moments.
While photos on your phone are nice, try printing them, adding notes, writing in your journal or notebook … preserve the moments. Share them to laugh and cry. I often describe the Daddin’ book as a book of moments (actually, my youngest son described it that way first when we talked about how the project was coming in 2010) and we do well to remember moments. Don’t spend so much time recording the moments that you don’t get to live the moments, though.
My oldest son is a talented photographer whose niche expertise is the Texas A&M Student Bonfire. We were recently discussing a photograph he had created of a young couple kissing before the bonfire was lit. The photo is exceptional. He gave a print to the young couple a month later at their wedding. We talked about how the beauty of photography is that you can re-live the moments, getting different perspectives on the images as time goes by. Get prints made; don’t count on passing your phone around. Prints can last several lifetimes, that is your great-great grandchildren could be holding them in their hands some day.
Add a few words on the back of the photo. You won’t always be around to explain. Write some stories or passing thoughts. (Use my LIFElines approach to write your life story!) Those stories and images will serve you well as you get older, will re-enrich your love, and enrich anew the lives of others to come.
Life goes on. One of my favorite parts of life is being a dad. What’s yours? Enjoy the moments and save what you can as nostalgic treats in the future.