Cracked My Heart in Half

There was a videomaking the rounds on Facebook the other day (isn’t there always?). This one is of the standard tearjerker, “isn’t it wonderful to be a mommy” variety. I gotta admit – I’m a sucker for these type of things. For some reason, though, this one just rubbed me the wrong way. It’s almost a shame, because it’s a good video that many people should see. Everyone should remember to cherish the gift of an ordinary day.

It took me a few minutes to figure out why the video annoyed me. For one thing, it touched upon my Corollary of Porn – if the video has a soundtrack but isn’t intended to be a musical, it probably isn’t worth watching. As the author talks, there’s some syrupy music going on in the background. It’s totally unnecessary. Her words, accompanied on the video by pictures of her sons as they are growing up, are enough to elicit an emotional response.

The other thing that bothered me was the discussion of how she had wanted to stop the moments and just keep her boys little, and how their growing up was sad for her. The point of the video was that you should enjoy every moment. Too many people aren’t comfortable with the fact that a moment is just that – a moment, and then it’s time to move on. I’ve heard so many people say they want to stop time. I’ve said it myself. None of us can do that. So it wasn’t really the video that annoyed me – it was the feelings that it brought up that made me grumpy.

Admittedly, I tend towards being a fantastically unsentimental person. I like to live in the moment instead of dwelling on the past. It’s easier to live my life focusing on the now instead of what has been or what might be. I’m not in control of either one of those things. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet. No matter how much I plan, there’s no guarantee that things will turn out the way I want them to. That doesn’t mean I don’t plan (oh, how I love to plan). It just means that I try to be accepting of what the universe gives me. It’s not easy, but the time it takes to fight it isn’t worth the effort.

So it really bugs me when people talk about their kids and cry about how they just want to keep them little and sweet. That kind of talk always makes me think of Carters – if they could only stay little ’til their Carters wear out. They can’t (well, unless you start them off in massively over-sized clothing). I didn’t give birth to a baby doll. I gave birth to human beings. They will grow up. It’s not always a fun process to go through and I may like some stages better than others, but I signed up for the journey. No just a single moment – lots of moments. Some I’ve enjoyed more, some less, but I’ve always had the best time when I remembered to just be in the moment. No photograph or video ever made can capture how I’m feeling right now. Spending time wishing I was in the past is time removed from what I have right now. The future will come. Hopefully I’ll get to see a lot of it.

Not long before Warren Zevon passed away from lung cancer, he sat down for an interview with David Letterman. Letterman asked Zevon if knowing that he would soon die had given him any insight into life. Zevon said that he now knew “just how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.”

That’s just a terrific way of putting it. Enjoy everything. Just live life before it’s over.

After he passed away, a group of Zevon’s friends put together a tribute album. My favorite song on that album, Studebaker, is sung by Zevon’s son Jordan. He remembered his father singing it to him when he was young.

Listening to Jordan Zevon’s song reminds me that in the scheme of things, singing one song to my child can seem so small. It isn’t. I need to remember to not just look for the big memories – vacations, graduations, birthdays. I need to enjoy every moment.

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