September 25th, 2009
Okay, so I know that it doesn’t sound very spiritual. You may roll your eyes or think me more odd than you did before . . . if that’s even possible. But it must be written about because it is one of my favorite Sadie moments of all time.
When Sadie was about six months old, Laura began religiously attending a workout program every Tuesday and Thursday evening. I was more than supportive . . . I mean, come on dude . . . I was running outside while she experienced fatigue, nausea, cravings, emotional swings, swollen feet, and all of the other “symptoms” of the condition we call pregnancy. As the expression goes, all gave some and some gave all. I would be one of those who only had to give some . . . she gave all.
I couldn’t have been any prouder of Laura and her journey to losing well over thirty pounds after the pregnancy, but she had to work hard to get there. As a sidebar, everyone out there who knew her continually asked her what diet secret she had discovered. What mysterious and exotic concoction of herbs, fruits, and root shavings when mixed together and held under direct sunlight for exactly 23.8 hours while dancing in circles and chanting the words “tabby-flabby-tabby-flabby” in Latin caused you to wake up one morning thirty pounds lighter? Was it Atkins? South Beach? The Grapefruit Diet? Pomegranate Diet? Bacon Diet?
Imagine their surprise when her answer was simply a combination of exercise and self-control. Huh, who would have thunk it?
Anyhoo, as that process was working out in our home, Laura was working out as well . . . outside of our home. That left me the titillating task of tending to the little one for a few hours . . . a few blissful hours. Now, I’m not trying to paint myself a better person or father than I actually am. Every moment with Sadie isn’t fun. Sometimes she’s cranky; sometimes I’m cranky. Often, I’m busy and stressed with the latest project or task to be completed. Many times, I stand at the counter typing on the very contraption that will put these words into readable form and Sadie walks up to my feet and holds up her arms in the “pick me up” position. So don’t think that I just sit in the floor for hours talking to her the entire time . . . although I am fluent in Toddlerarian.
That being said, we do get to spend some pretty amazing time together. I’ve already written about my prayer time with Sadie. Our walks. These days, our runs (another day, another story.) Feeding time. Bath time. The times seem many, yet I know time won’t last forever.
But one moment that I came to treasure on those few nights when it was just Sadie and me was our time spent together with classic Frank Sinatra blaring on the speakers of my laptop. I can’t really explain it, but the blaring horn blasts . . . the jazzy movements of the rhythm section . . . and the butter-smooth voice of Sinatra just set an interesting mood. Sadie and I went about whatever we were doing . . . eating, working, playing . . . and we almost always ended up dancing for at least a few stanzas.
Well, to say “we” danced may be a bit inaccurate. I held her and did most of the dancing . . . she just smiled and that was enough for me. The even sadder part is the expression that my wife is making as she reads this because she knows that although I am a decent musician and possess at least average rhythm, it is completely confined to the region of my hands and has never descended into my feet. In other words, I am the world’s most horrific dancer.
But there’s something about Sinatra and Sadie that gets even the likes of me swaying. I guess it’s the silliness of the moment. The pure joy of my little one. Oh, and the fact that no one’s looking. Or maybe it’s the sheer wonder of the song titles themselves and how they relate to these magical moments of fatherhood. The Best Is Yet To Come. That’s Life. The Way You Look Tonight. The Good Life.
Or Sadie’s two favorite titles based off her of current actions: Call Me Irresponsible and My Way. Nice.
Now, I could direct this whole thought towards the lost wonder of Sinatra’s music and the fact that every flawless vocal that we hear wasn’t ran through modern vocal correction software and that every song had to be hit perfectly in studio one time through. In other words, there was no stopping and starting in different parts of the song . . . or punching in the line later. This is how music is recorded today: all you have to do is get the line correct one time and then it can be enhanced digitally, copied and pasted into other sections of the track, and mixed and mastered into perfection.
Sinatra? No, he just sang it right all at once . . . and with a live band. Wow. Or, I could dwell on the fact that you may question my parenting skills over spending time with my daughter listening to the music of a less-than-model citizen with ties to the mob.
But you know what? Here’s the easy skinny of it all: sometimes you just need to dance in the moment you’re in. We can always look to tomorrow’s anticipated victories and we can always lament yesterday’s failures, but this moment is about to pass and it’s worth celebrating.
In my case, the moments with Sadie are passing more quickly than I wish; so for now, Sadie, Sinatra, and I are going to keep “kicking it old school” and enjoying a season that will never come again. Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NLT) says that there is a season for everything . . . “A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.”
What seasons of your life have missed out on your fancy footwork? You’ll never see mine, but Sadie and Sinatra will. Don’t miss the joy of the moment you’re in . . . and don’t ask me to dance for you.