from a dad's view

When they were little

My, my, my how time flies, these two little girls of mine are now 16 and twenty years old. Although I’m very proud how both turned out with an amazing intelligence and beauty.  They have both given me a lifetime worth of love and memories.  memories of walking hand in hand with my oldest to the local store to get an ice cream, while waiting for her mom to get off work down the street.  I know this doesn’t sound like much, but the true heartfelt love that we shared in daily stories and learning on that walk, makes for a wonderful memories.  The memory of building their play house and swing by hand just to watch my youngest swing all day, right side up, upside down, twirling in circles, up to the age that most would have stopped.  Sure there are memories of birthday parties, vacations and all the bigger moments of memories, but it was some of the small things that meant so much to me.  It did help that our girls were disciplined early, so by time they were 2 or 3 we could take them anywhere and never had to worry about fits or misbehavior. They learned early that dad would not put up with that.  For you younger couple or those about to have children, may I give you some advice that you might have had or heard before.  Spend as much time with your kids as possible, they do grow up so fast that moments missed are never going to come back.  Walk with your kids and truly listen to them and what they are saying.  Play with them as though you were a child once again.  But most importantly, remember you are their IDOL, that doesn’t last forever, so make sure you enjoy every moment of it.  Also from the very beginning of their lives, you are the main teacher of life and habits for your child.  If you show love easily, they will show love, if you show anger constantly, they will show anger, if your habits are bad (smoking, drinking, abuse of any kind), odds are they will follow in those same foot steps.  Now does this mean your children will be perfect, heck no.  They’re kids, and I have a receding hairline and high blood pressure to prove it.  But by working hard and putting so much love into your children, you have given them the best teaching and opportunity that you could give.  Make sure you give your children just as much time alone with you as you would golf, hunting, t.v. or other past times.  Don’t give your children new games or toys just so they will go away and play, all they will do is pile up in the corner along with the memories that you could have been making with your children.  Well enough preaching and now for some of my memories.

1.  Taking my girls fishing… learning to leave my gear at home because I was to busy getting their hooks out of the trees.  Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

2.  The look in their eyes when first seeing the ocean… both always seeming to have one butt cheek that wouldn’t stay in their swim suites bottoms.  Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

3.  Staying in a cabin with all their cousins and pulling and swinging them around on a quilt and a wood floor trying to force them off… learning how out of shape I was pulling them. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

4.  The wonder and awe they had for everything Disney World could offer… Aerosmith’s rock-n-roll roller coaster ROCKS. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

5.  Watching them come down the steps at Christmas time half a sleep, hair sticking out and their little long gowns on… tearing up now, sniffle sniffle.  Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Don’t miss the chance of memories!

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15 responses

  1. Lovely watercolor of your girls, Ryan. I like the softness of it. They are beautiful. Sometimes I think of how fortunate I was to be able to have time with my children. So many of my friends, the husband worked two jobs and the wife, one, just to make ends meet.

    May 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    • Thank you Leslie.
      I know some people truly have it hard, but to the majority, making ends meet consist of premium cable, two brand new cars, large new home and a lot of toys such as boats, jet skis and four wheeler atv’s. Time with the kids is so much more important. These things aren’t bad, if you can truly afford them, but by evidence of our economy, most borrowed their life away and now are paying for it. The golden rule is if you can’t afford it… don’t buy it! Thanks again and your comments mean a lot to me.

      May 14, 2010 at 4:16 am

      • I understand what you are saying, but the people I am talking about did not have those things. Either did I.

        May 14, 2010 at 5:36 am

      • I can appreciate that Leslie, because nor did I, as my dad would say… poor as a church mouse, but we still had time together.

        May 14, 2010 at 5:45 am

  2. That’s a wonderful painting of your girls, Ryan! They’re both beautiful! I wish my Dad had this attitude in his head when I was growing up. My fondest memory with him was when he took me (without my sister and brother) to Howard Johnsons for an ice cream. I only remember it happening once, but it was terrific. My Mom was the one who was always there and she stayed at home until we were all in High School. She was a fun Mom to us and all the kids for miles around.

    I didn’t have children, but the things you say are the way I would have liked to have been, had I chosen to be a parent.

    Thanks for the great post!

    May 14, 2010 at 4:46 am

    • It’s amazing how the simple times together are remembered more than big gifts. I asked the girls (when they were young) what was their favorite memories. Thinking they would say a certain Christmas gift, or some of our bigger trips, but instead it was times together with myself and family. Such as the quilt sliding on the wood floors, going horse back riding with me, and other things such as this. I was so proud, but on the other hand upset knowing I had spent hundreds and thousands on wasted Christmas gifts!

      May 14, 2010 at 5:25 am

  3. Valuable words…we forget that our children mirror US. As parents and grandparents we must take responsibility and show them how to be kind, compassionate, ethical, and generous. OK, now I will stop preaching. Lovely painting, lovely girls and I am so glad you had the wisdom to enjoy them. My family has always been very close and my favorite times go back to the occasions when we had the whole family (5 generations) together. My mother and grandmother had a huge influence on my girls and the lovely people they became.

    May 14, 2010 at 4:56 am

    • It sounds wonderful that your family had so much love and respect, which I think it takes both to grow. Thank you Linda for your kind comments!

      May 14, 2010 at 5:17 am

  4. This painting makes me think of what a blessing it is have artistic talent. Being able to recreate memories and emotions of the time past is possibly the best use of it. I forgot who was it that said: “I paint love.” That’s what you painted here. Thank you for sharing it.

    May 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    • Artist are the very first to record history and memories, even before written words. If for some reason my memories are erased through time, I hope that some of my art will allow others to hold those memories in their heart. Thanks Alex and keep making and recording your memories!

      May 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

  5. I don’t think you could have explained any of it better, what beautiful memories. And also a beautiful painting.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:21 am

    • Thank you, they are my life and really wonderful kids.

      May 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

  6. Francis

    Beautiful painting. You are truly blessed and fortunate Ryan, i just wish i could be as blessed too especially when i’am old and my son all grown up. Well hopefully i’am still around and so do the world. Who knows what might happen next, you right on the spot, family is still number one. Poor or rich, we do need to spend more time with them, chasing matrial and meets end needs is all part of our hunting and gathering skills, after all we do need to live our life for a purpose, what better use then to see our kids grow.

    May 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

  7. what a lucky guy! your daughters are beautiful and you have the artistic talent to capture them in a watercolor.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm

  8. Two lovely ladies with a wonderful dad who builds them a playhouse and swing by hand. Then as they grow, he paints them on canvas … this is true love.

    All the best – Maxi

    May 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm

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