happy birthday to you
Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday.
I wrote this for her, when she was around 3 or 4 years old, and I hope you enjoy it.
Let me know what you think by commenting below this post.
It’s called, “Her Sweaty Damp Curls”
I love putting my daughter to bed. It’s one of the few times I have no problem relaxing and simply enjoying being right there in the moment.
We usually spend a lot of time talking about what went on during her day. We laugh and joke with one another… and then I cuddle her and she falls asleep cuddling her own safety net — a little doll she’s had almost all her life.
Last night, I thought she was asleep, and when I started to get up and out of her bed… she said softly… with her eyes closed, “Don’t go daddy. Hold my hand.”
As long as I live, I will never forget this. It was as pure and true a moment, as life will ever give you.
So I laid back down with her and I let her curl her little fingers around my thumb, while I gently cupped the rest of my fingers around the back of her hand.
You know, there are certain distinct facial features that infants and young children have, that get lost as they get older.
For example, her lips.
That thin line that separates your lips from the skin immediately around your lips, is very defined when you’re young. But this line loses its sharpness as you move through childhood. It’s as if fine sandpaper somehow slightly smoothes the edges down, once you start leaving the nest.
And her eyelashes.
You can see each individual long dark eyelash as if it were a strong yet soft feather… growing up out of her eyelids. Slightly thinner than a narrow pencil lead you slide into an automatic pencil… only bouncy and flexible, not rigid and stiff.
And as she’s falling asleep, I run my course fingers back through her silky fine damp curls, and over her perfectly smooth round head. I can feel each of her hairs brushing in between my fingers, and over my clumsy and calloused hands, which, for some reason… don’t seem to be so clumsy at this moment.
As I’m looking down at her face and at her tiny little body, I’m hoping — with all the might I can muster up — that I will NEVER ever lose this exact feeling, or this exact memory.
That I can somehow permanently “burn” this moment into my mind like a craftsman burns a scene into a wooden block, creating a permanent etching of a log cabin, or perhaps a German shepherd.
I felt, perhaps more grateful in that moment, than ever before, in my entire life.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could recall images like this one, that are buried away inside your memory banks, automatically… the same way your elbow automatically twitches when you bang that one spot right behind it?
I’d love it.
This would be like a pre-packaged endorphin. The perfect pick-me-up whenever you’re down or frustrated about something — or whenever life’s punched you in the gut and you need help recovering.
Although as I’m here in this moment with her, it seems hard to think that life could be anything but perfect. Her little spirit is so bright and so warm, nothing could possibly diminish it.
Right now she is as light… and happy… as a kitten.
She is only the second woman in my life I’ve ever gotten close to — her mom (my wife) being the first. Both of them seem to have a soothing effect on me. Almost like “Beauty and the Beast.”
And as I’m laying here, I’m reminded about what’s important.
The truth is, there are no memories created while you are sitting in front of your computer. No fun experiences you’ll ever remember… and surely no “peak moments” you’ll look back on.
Work is nice, but as Anna Quindlen said, “No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.”
It is all just a means to an end — and hopefully an end you are making worthwhile.
Quindlen also said, “Love the journey, not the destination.”
It’s hard to understand this until you get a few years on you, but it’s very important… and very true.
It’s the memories in life you carry around that make you or break you. Memories that either fill you up with happiness, or leave you feeling drained and empty and with nothing in your tank but sorrow and regret. And it’s important to keep this in mind.
On second thought, I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble recalling something this powerful.
At least… not for a good long while, anyway.
Now go make some memories, Craig Garber
P.S. Later today, I’ll be sending out information about tomorrow’s Lead Generation Teleseminar that takes place at 2pm Eastern, so stay tuned.
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listening to: Journey Of The Sorcerer – The Eagles (1975)