Three years ago I wrote what I consider to be one of the best things I've written. I was inspired by something Dan John wrote, and recently he wrote something that brought me back to that same post, and a few other things.
It made me think of listening to the Cardinals games on the radio with my dad. Jack Buck's voice booming through the car. I thought about beating Army at West Point. Many times laughing with my wife. I thought about recent moments with the kid: the first time he smiled, the first time I heard him laugh. So many of those moments in the past 11 weeks.
I realized that's why we have children. The same reason we play sports or do all of the things we are passionate about: To be in those moments of perfection. To touch the divine. Those moments are the seeds of passion.
I realized it's a selfish thing to have a child. I've doomed this little guy to all the pain the world can inflict, and ultimately death so that I can have more of those shining moments. I owe him a debt that I can't repay. I go out of my way to spend as much time as I can. To have those moments; because I can't know when those moments will happen, and I don't want to miss one.
In turn, I have to give as much of myself as I can.. and more.. teach him every thing I know (that he wants to learn) so that he has those moments to look back on when he's 35. So that he has the skills and passion to have those moments without me.
What I can't figure out is how to teach him to enjoy those moments. To pause, and look around. To remember what your father/your teammates/your wife/your son look like in that moment. Really enjoy, and imprint it on your memory. To not lose sight of those wonderful perfect moments for all of the small annoyances life throws.
Last summer my cousin Jake got married. He is a good kid who's on his way to becoming a good man, and at the church I pulled him aside and said: "Take Jaime (his wife) and sneak off for 10 minutes between now and cutting the cake. Have some quiet time to yourselves and enjoy being together today. Tonight will go very fast, don't miss it."
I don't know if he took my advise, but I hope he did.
I have been very fortunate. I have a fantastic wife. A great kid and have been very lucky to be moving this weekend into a great house with the help of some good friends. These are big things and they are important.
Conversely, I had a belly ache the other night. I had a ton of work to get done to get the house ready to move in, and almost no time to do it. I rolled poorly on Monday night and got beat like a drum. There are many annoying things about my job. My hips are sore, my back aches. Last night I got a flat tire, I couldn't get my truck down off the jack (it broke and wouldn't go down).
These are small things they are not important.
I have to be careful that I don't get so focused on small things that I lose sight of, or worse, lose the big things.
I think that's true of all of us.