one moment

Adulting is hard.

Parenting is harder.

But then there are moments where everything comes together…

Picture, if you will, a simple car ride up the street to run an errand, four-year-old ensconced in his chair in the back, and a familiar tune begins to play through the speakers.  My voice comes in to join the singer’s, as is my way, and a small voice from the backseat chimes in.  And there it is.  I’m singing in the car with the little prince.

I didn’t ask him to sing.  I didn’t force him to learn the words.  It was a familiar song, yes, one I’ve played a lot, one that I’ve sung to a lot, one he has sung to before on his own at home.  He memorized the words on his own, though, and in that moment he chose to sing with me rather than just listen, rather than telling me stop singing so he could sing, rather than telling me to stop so we could just hear the true artist.  He joined his voice, small as it was, so we would be singing together.

I don’t know that I could adequately explain why that meant so much to me, both in general and on that day and I doubt he had any idea, but I nearly cried.  I grew up singing in the car.  Some of my earliest memories are of my dad thumping a steady rock beat out on the center console while the whole car exploded with our (often terrible) singing.  Leaving that image as is, perhaps it is best to only add that music has always played a major role in who I am, from casual listener, to instrumental student, to DJ…  Music has defined many of the milestones of my revolutions around the sun.

Adulting is hard and parenting is harder and that’s okay because I’m occasionally given moments of such joy that I know all the struggles are worthwhile.  Singing in the car with the little prince was one of those moments.  I can’t wait to do that again.  I can’t wait to see what the next moment will be too.

The song ended and I turned in my seat to say over my shoulder, my voice catching a bit in my throat and my eyes straining to hold back the tears while a smile lit my face, “I love you, kiddo.”

“Why?”

Adulting is hard.

Parenting is harder.

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33 thoughts on “one moment

  1. You hit exactly the right tone ! I am currently stepping back from the parenting experience since my youngest son is 21. It is definitely the most demanding experience I have had and the most meaningful, joyous, etc etc. I cannot tell you how much it means to see young adults steer their way with grace and fortitude and resilience when you have had some input! I always say they are who they are in spite of me, not because of. Glad you are finding the joy amongst the challenges.

  2. I didn’t start adulting until after I was done parenting. Looking back, I think it’s best to grow up at the same pace as our kids. That way, we always experience the wonder WITH them… during, and AFTER. And Happy Birthday, Jester!

  3. I so get this. Growing up we listened to oldies in the car, and I didn’t much care for that. My musical tastes are vastly different from both of my parents. There are some songs they enjoy that I do, too, but for the most part they would probably think they failed as parents if they heard most of what I like.

    With the twins, though, most of their music library was copied from mine. I can play my music in the car and they’ll sing along with me. They don’t sing on key, so I have to turn it up a little bit, but that’s okay. I still think it’s cool that they like the same kind of music I do.

    I’m hoping for the same luck with Baby C.

  4. A little birdie in the shape of a dinosaur reminded me it was your b-day. & This is pretty wonderful.
    Happy Birthday, friend.
    ‘Cause adulting IS hard. ❤

  5. Love, love love moments like these. Parenting was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. We used to sing with our boys in the car all the time. It was so much fun. Great memories.

  6. What a precious moment and memory! The fact that you choked up made me choke up. It brings back memories of singing in the car with my parents.

    I haven’t parented and have only scratched the surface of adulting. You seem to have a good grasp on both.

    Happy Birthday. 🙂

  7. Tears in my eyes. My daughter is only 1 so I have yet to experience something similar (it will probably involve Star Wars) but there are definitely more and more moments as we creep along to her getting older.

    • Oh my gosh! I missed it?!? Congrats, congrats, congrats! So very exciting. And, oh, there are so many things I can’t wait to share with the little prince, including star wars.

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