A DYING DAD TO HIS SON — A POEM

I am not sick.  I am not dying.  Something happens though, when you find yourself faced with the responsibility of parenthood.  You tend to acknowledge your own mortality.  I was never afraid to fly.  I flew a lot for work.  I flew a lot for fun.  Then I had a son and the first time I flew after my boy was born, I was terrified.  “What happens if the plane crashes?!  I will miss out on so much, and he needs me!!”  The second time I flew after he was born, I wrote those feelings down in this pseudo- poem.

Oh Little one, you’re on your way into this world

And I’m on my way out

Life can be awful cruel at times, of that

there is no doubt

I won’t be there to give you all the things

A daddy should provide

So I’ll leave you with some words

In hopes they’ll help you navigate the tides

Some of these words are mine

And some are those of others

But the one’s you’ll need to know right off

Are ‘Listen to your mother’.

A wise man once said,

“To thine own self be true”

Because there will be times in life

When your only friend is you

You’ll make mistakes, but that’s okay

Mistakes are life’s great teacher.

And if you don’t meet your goal at first

Keep trying ’til you reach her.

To find the key to happiness

Doesn’t take a great detective

The answer to those secrets

All lie in your perspective

For some the sunset means

Another day is dead and gone

For others it simply means

The night has just begun

It’s all in how you see it son

I guess I was wrong when I said

Words were all I had to give

For you’ll have a guardian angel protecting you

For as long as you shall live.

Brett & Me LLL

DANCE ON THE STARS

Dance on the stars little one

For the heavens are your playground

And the twilight your cradle

Dance on the stars little one

And let your laughter be heard

It is the song of angels

Dance on the stars little one

And frolic in the depths of your imagination

You’ll never be alone

Dance on the stars little one

And believe in your dreams

For they are all you really own

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From a new Dad…

The most important adjustment young dads have to make is switching from a self-centric world to one in which every decision he makes from now on has to revolve around this little wide-eyed, helpless child who’s depending on Dad.  Us guys can be pretty selfish in our youth, and unlike our female counterparts, parenthood often catches us off-guard.  By that, I don’t mean the planning of it, but rather the responsibilities of it. Despite all our boundless love for this new little person, that adjustment can sometimes be a rough one and it can sometimes take a while.  For me, ‘a while’ meant years.  I took care of my responsibilities, I loved my boy immediately, but figuring out how to balance his needs with my own took some doing.  It becomes a balancing act between the best interest of this little bundle of love and the still-stirring dreams and aspirations of a young man in his twenties.

Now in my forties, I have a much better perspective and handle on this whole dad-business, but that was not the case at 29.  Getting older is daunting on that side of the hill.

One day, I took off to the shores of Geneva Lake to do some thinking in the sun and the water.  The following is the result of that.  It’s supposed to be a song, but I don’t know how to write music, and so I guess it’s a poem.

Long story short, I wrote this a long time ago for a little boy.  He’s not so little anymore, but the sentiments still apply.

 

CANDY BARS AND SHOOTING STARS

All those dreams of stardom

and movies of my own

Have given way to blocks and clay

rubber balls and ice cream cones

I guess I’ll have to face it

My priorities have changed.

The dreams are alive, they’ll never die

they just simply rearranged

 

Now it’s candy bars and shooting stars

Hide and go seek

The ice cream man, a summer’s tan

and running in bare feet

 

My life’s gone by at lightning speed

The years they just flew

I’m fast approaching thirty

and my best bud is barely two

With distance from the spotlight

I’ve got a better view

Cause through his eyes and nightly lullabies

I see a world that’s bright and new

 

It’s full of candy bars and shooting stars

Hide and go seek

The ice cream man, a summer’s tan

and running in bare feet

 

Now I may not make the big time

I put that book up on the shelf

There’s more in life to think about

than just my foolish self

But there’s no need to worry

This story is not grim

‘Cause he’s got dreams he’ll share with me

And I’ll share mine with him

 

— Brian Schnoor

Geneva Lake, Wi.

August 2002