I am sitting at my desk this morning, exhausted, having taken my 10-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a One Direction concert last night. On the way there, it took two hours to drive two miles. During the concert, I was surrounded by 70,000 girls who were screaming at the top of their lungs. The music was so loud, my seat was vibrating. I am pretty sure I have some permanent hearing loss. And ... I had the time of my life.
In the midst of all the craziness, I had a moment when I was able to just look at Ellie, singing and screaming, and see this night for what it really was. This was a time that she and I got to do something special, just the two of us, that we will always remember. I try to do that every once in a while -- just soak in a moment with my kids. I try to let it burn in my memory, because I know that the time is near that these moments will be much less common.
For Ellie, the night was largely about seeing her favorite band. For me, it was about the conversations on the way to the concert, seeing her face light up when the band played her favorite song, having a strangely philosophical conversation while leaving the Georgia Dome, and then seeing her face while she peacefully slept while we drove home. I soaked it all in, making sure that I didn’t take this moment for granted.
So, I encourage you to really take in the moments with your child. Whether it is a special night out, a toss of the ball in the back yard, a parent/child dance at a wedding, or even helping your child with their homework, don’t get lost in the business of being a parent. Take a step back sometimes and really soak in how special certain times are in your life. Like Billy Joel (by the way, Ellie has no idea who he is) said, "These are the times to remember because they will not last forever.”