I think these three words, more than any other, define a life well spent. When most people hear those words they think of the time they were present at a historical event. Maybe it was a great time they had with friends. Maybe it was at Times Square on December 31, 1999 at 11:59 pm. Maybe it was when Saddam Hussein was captured. Maybe it was some tragic historical event like September 11, 2001 and the person remembers when the buildings came down and he/she was just up the street. I don’t have a laundry list of places I was at when historical things happened. I have a few moments in my life that some people may consider important or memorable but overall, I’ve led a fairly uneventful life. I haven’t been to any other continent in the world. I’ve only visited a few states other than my own. I’ve never beheld the majesty of the Grand Canyon and I’ve never seen Mount Rushmore or visited the Whitehouse. Honestly, I don’t have much desire to do these things. This blog entry is mainly for my children because when I reflect now and someday when I look back on my life, I want to be able to say, “I was there…” for the really important moments.
I was there when all my children were born and those moments were the greatest moments of my life. I was in the middle of a drug sting when Allie was born. I got the 911 page from my father and raced from Houston to Corpus Christi, getting stopped by a DPS trooper for speeding just outside of Victoria. It was a scary situation but you made it and you’re a beautiful and smart young lady. Sarah was born in Houston and although she only lived there for 3 months, she still considers herself a Houstonian. Sarah and Isaiah’s deliveries went smoothly and I’m thankful to have such beautiful and healthy children.
I was there when they all took their first steps and I walked behind them to make sure they didn’t fall. Allie, you passed your walker down to your sister and she walked faster than any of you. Isaiah took a little longer because Sarah insisted on carrying him most of the time.
I was there for Isaiah’s first haircut and I hated to see him lose his beautiful soft baby curls.
I was there when Sarah said her first word. I was living/working in Houston and my family was living in Corpus Christi. We met at the Ikea and when she saw me, she screamed out, “Dadda.” Allie’s first words were Blockbuster and Schlotsky’s. You can imagine where we spent most of our time when Allie was a baby. Isaiah didn’t speak until he was three. Sarah spoke for him and when he said, “Uh Uh Uh” Sarah would interpret and tell us, “He says he’s thirsty.” You fight like cats and dogs now but you were best friends when you were little.
I was there when Allie caught her first fish. We were at the T-heads in downtown Corpus Christi and she was fishing with a purple Danny the Dinosaur rod and reel. It was a monster Sheephead and I was more excited about it than she was. Isaiah’s my fishing buddy now but Allie still holds the record for the biggest fish.
I was there for first days of school and I always enjoyed hearing about all the activities that you did. Sarah wanted to be dropped off just like Allie. As we pulled up to the school, Sarah said, “You can drop me off here. I can do this on my own.” You haven’t changed a bit.
I was there for birthday parties and I always felt that they came too soon together. Now, all of you are taller than your mother and I’m wondering, “where did all the time go?”
I was there when you lost your two front teeth and I made sure the tooth fairy compensated you well. There’s a little container in my desk full of teeth. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them. I know…it’s gross.
I was there to watch you all acting silly and to laugh along with you. You all have my sense of humor now because of it and you’re mother can’t stand it when we are all laughing at the same warped and twisted jokes.
I was there to stay up at night with all of you when you were sick, carrying all of you, and rocking all of you to sleep when you were babies.
If there’s anything that I can pass on to parents everywhere and my own children when they become parents….it’s to be able to say, “I was there…” I love you kids.