I realized something important today. We all rush through our lives pushing hard through the week in an effort to just be able to make it to the weekend. Unfortunately we often discover that the weekend all too frequently never seems to live up to the promise.
As a divorced parent I face an even larger challenge because I only get to spend every other weekend with my kids. Yes, I do have them on Monday and Wednesday evenings, but that time often feels so limited. I get out of work at 5 and pick Molly up at 5:15. From there we drive for at least 10-15 minutes to pick up Sophia before heading home. Most nights it's nearly 6pm by the time we make it through the door. Then it's homework and dinner... and after that we have maybe 45 minutes or so before bedtime.
It never feels like enough.
Today was not supposed to be my time with the girls. However, as fate would dictate their mother had to work until 5:30. Getting out at 5 and having no real plans to speak of I offered to pick the girls up. I'm glad I did.
After signing her out, gathering up her stuff and getting settled into the car, Molly and I did what we always do. I put on some music and we rock 'n' rolled our way to pick up Sophia. I have a playlist on my phone called "Molly's Favorites" and as it does most days we listen to it, this song came on...
...and Molly and I did what we always do... we sang along. She sang Rapunzel's part and I sang Flynn's. It's something that we've done probably 50 times, but I never really thought about it until now. The song was ending as we pulled into the parking lot of Sophia's school. Molly unbuckled her seatbelt and wrapped her arms around me and said, "You're the best daddy ever." I knew at that moment how much that meant, not only to me, but to Molly as well.
It's small moments like these where life actually happens. The kind of small moments that most of us are likely to take for granted. I realized today that sometimes, moments like these are all we get and we're foolish not to recognize them for what they are. As a parent and particularly as a father of young girls, when I'm reflecting on my life, hopefully still many years from now, these will be the moments that I cherish.