Posts Tagged ‘family’

Lyrically, Darius Rucker has become quite family-oriented since his Hootie and the Blowfish days. One gets a sense that his music has become very auto-biographical, and as any marketer these days will tell you, “Story sells.” And if you can draw someone into your personal story like Rucker does, well that’s just golden. He has done that with me, more than once.

The song that inspired this post is “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”.  And like any good storyteller, Darius directs me to introspection, especially where it concerns my beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter:

“…when he drops her off at preschool, she’s clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him, he says, “What can I do?”
She says now don’t you worry, this’ll only last a week or two
It won’t be like this for long
One day soon you’ll drop her off, and she won’t even know you’re gone
This phase is gonna fly by if you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long
Some day soon she’ll be a teenager, and at times he’ll think she hates him
Then he’ll walk her down the aisle and he’ll raise her veil
But right now she’s up and cryin’, and the truth is that he don’t mind
As he kisses her good night and she says her prayers

… And just watchin’ her it breaks his heart, ‘cause he already knows
It won’t be like this for long.”

Now, my daughter was seven years old when I met her. So recollecting our history together leads to a bit of pining for missed chances, daydreaming about what might have been, and sadness about the lack of early birthday photos together. I never even got to see her head off to preschool. I get the teenager years, but missed the earlier things. I would have loved to have been her Daddy when she was that cute little squirt I never knew.

Just when I become maudlin, it’s Hootie to the rescue once again – this time from a song called “This” (and the family-centered lyrics are, again, dazzling in their poignancy):

“Got a baby girl sleeping in my bedroom and her mama laughing in my arms
There’s the sound of rain on the rooftop and the game’s about to start
I don’t really know how I got here but I’m sure glad that I did
And it’s crazy to think that one little thing could’ve changed all of it
Maybe it didn’t turn out like I planned, maybe that’s why I’m such, such a lucky man

For every stoplight I didn’t make
Every chance I did or I didn’t take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn’t know
Thank God for all I missed, ‘cause it led me here to this”

Rucker got to savor those very early moments, and I didn’t. But Lord only knows how badly I’d have screwed things up if I’d been there in those early years for my little girl. I am fairly certain I wasn’t the man I needed to be in those days, and my immaturity would have been a bad, probably flammable, influence.

So instead of dwelling on the baby girl I didn’t meet until she was seven, I thank God for the path he sent me on that got me here. When I was in college, I had no idea that this is where I was headed. When I bought my first car, when I spent all those lost weekends following the local Atlanta bands, when I packed up my things and moved out of my folks’ home, when I turned down that one job and took that other one…

Thank God for all I missed, ‘cause it led me here to this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We often think about the paths we didn’t take. What decisions have you made that, at the time sounded like steps backward, but turned out marvelous? Tell your story in the comments below.

 

 

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