So vividly I remember a simple, 30 second moment in time. I can close my eyes any time of the day and pull up this certain memory and see it as if it was happening in real time. It happened on the front porch of my childhood home in Wheatfield, New York. A small suburb just outside Niagara Falls. It was summer, later in the evening, late enough that the sun had set. My father was sitting in a chair on the porch listening to Oldies104 on his gray Panasonic boombox and enjoying a beer. This was a common occurrence so one could argue that this memory isn’t one of any specific moment in time but it is. This was the first time I had my first tiny sip of beer. I am not exactly sure how old I was at the time, but I know I wasn’t a teenager yet. This memory is important not because it was the first time I tried a beer, I mean yea that’s significant but, this is tied to all the times I’ve sat outside on the porch, or the deck, or around the bonfire with my father listening to oldies. This one simple 30 second in history sums up how I became who I am today. It sums up why I enjoy sitting around listening to music with a beer in my hand. More so it sheds light on to why I stress paying attention to the little things.
I strive every day to spend time with my two girls. Peanut being older gets to do more “dad” activities such as going to the local tavern to watch the Buffalo Bills games and staying up later just to hang out but one thing I hope both girls remember when they get older are the simple moments. The times we spend cooking, going out for ice cream, and most importantly dancing around the living room listening to oldies music. Like most parents, I want to give my kids everything but at the same time, I don’t. I feel that it is important to show my kids that it’s the little things in life that matter. It’s the journey not so much the destination that will provide you with the most joy and most importantly that if you don’t get everything you want, it’s okay. Appreciate what you have, no matter how small or simple it is.
The more appreciation for “the simple” I can instill in my kids the happier they will be in the end. At least that is my hope for them. It is a very busy, congested, and fast-paced world out there. With the constant upgrades in technology, it’s growing harder to enjoy being unplugged. Now, I get it, we need technology. Technology is great. It helps with everything we do, in fact, I’m obviously using it now to write this. The biggest thing I hope to leave my kids is not that their father bought them all the toys they ever wanted, or that they always had the latest cool gadget but more so that their father taught them that sometimes it is best to just sit outside and enjoy being.
Can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all -Neutral Milk Hotel