Go Make A Memory
I can’t remember if it was last week or a month ago -- honestly the days and weeks seem to blur and blend together lately since we have been eagerly expecting the birth of our fifth child: Whenever the exact day is inconsequential to the story.
Recently I was in the kitchen doing some dishes (yes, some of us men actually do dishes) when I had that sudden parental urge to go check on a kid. Which child, I did not know in the moment, but I had that definite 6th sense wash over me and I was compelled from the sink to the living room in search of a possible mischief-in-progress.
Carefully poking my head around the corner so as to not disturb any possible violation that was currently taking place and thus missing the golden opportunity us parents love to be able to take full advantage – capitalizing on a “learning moment” if indeed said mischief was already underway - I was surprised to see – not a whole lot of much going on.
The room was empty, which is as rare as a solar eclipse or better yet, a full night’s sleep these days in our house. The only thing to speak of was my three-year-old daughter peacefully watching something on a laptop. She was curled up cozy on the coach mesmerized with a look of anticipation brought on by a pretty accent and floating hands with even prettier nails opening yet another “surprise” egg. Her undivided attention and warm smile confirmed the joy she received from the awe and wonderful of it all – at least for her innocent world reference.
I stood there for a moment and took in the scene from my own vantage. I love that look on her face. I love the way she giggles softly but still so pronounced like her mother. If you know my daughter, you will know that she is the sweetest little something you will ever have the pleasure of knowing. Her undivided attention and gaze are highly sought after by most. And that’s when it hit me…
My smile froze, turned upside down, and then inside out when I realized that I wanted, no needed, that gaze. I was more than a bit jealous of not having it fixed on me. Sounds a little selfish? Maybe, but in that moment I realized that I hadn’t spent nearly enough time with her, just her, since I honestly care to admit. I stood there in the doorway that day a little ashamed that I hadn’t fought to make room, to make time, for her recently.
I came to from my own blank stare, quickly shook off the lingering guilt, and gingerly called to her from across the room.
“Baby Girl!” I started, “Do you want to go for a ride with daddy?” I had nothing planned. I only knew I wanted to do something, anything, with my daughter.
To my delight, she immediately turned away from the production on the screen and even closed the laptop. “YES Daddy!” she sang out with a joy and anticipation that had this grown man fighting back the tears. She jumped from the coach into my arms and gave the biggest little hug her arms could muster. My angel didn’t even ask me where we were going; she too was content knowing only that we were going to be together.
Take what you will from this little experience. I personally felt that day that my parental 6th sense was not activated by any of the usual shenanigans but indeed something far more important: I was constrained in the most loving way to stop, drop, and go make a memory -- the dishes can wait.
Father to Five
Bio (Edit as needed):
The author has been working as a full-time youth minister and educator for almost 20 years. Michael uses his formal education, experiences, world travels and life's adventures to write award-winning children's picture books. Mr. Samulak obtained his bachelor's in Elementary Education from Michigan State University ('96) and finished his master's in Reading Curriculum and Instruction at Cleveland State University ('12). The author currently resides in the city of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and now five children who love the Lakewood recreational sports!
Michael Samulak has close to twenty years of experience teaching, mentoring, and engaging youth both in and outside of the classroom. Mr. Samulak frequents schools, learning centers, and daycares to read and present his stories and world adventures inspiring the next generation to dream big. Michael utilizes his formal education to write and create award-winning children's picture books that are filled with fun learning moments. The author currently resides in the city of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and five children. Michael obtained his bachelor's in Elementary Education from Michigan State University ('96) and finished his master's in Education at Cleveland State University ('12). He has been working as a full-time youth minister and educator for close to 20 years. Michael writes award-winning picture books to inspire the next generation to dream big!