Sometimes you know it’s coming, but no matter how much you prepare, it doesn’t matter…you’re going to be an emotional mess anyway.
I had one of those emotionally messy moments recently, one I wasn’t looking forward to and one that was every bit as hard as I thought it would be. I can’t remember feeling that sad— save when I lost my parents.
Dropping my baby girl off at college left me proud of how far she’s come, happy for all the great times ahead for her, but selfishly very sad that she’s on her own now and frankly will never need me as much anymore.
Or will she?
In the days leading up to the sad goodbye, we fixed up her room, which had us running several errands. I frankly loved every minute knowing the “perceived” end was coming. She was excited about her pending freedom, and her Dad was counting down the hours like we were breaking in a New Year.
The last errand had us loading a variety of items into the cart. A brand new garage can. Some storage bends for her clothes, and a few small odds and ends for her first home away from my home?! At the end of our tour of Home Goods, I received a friendly, sarcastic, yet revealing reminder from an unexpected source.
As I picked up a rug and placed it in the cart, I saw a family looking at me like they had been there before. I looked at the father smiled and said “We finally made it to the finish line.”
He quickly responded, “There isn’t a finish line.”
At the time I thought he was funny but later that day and now weeks later, I realized what a smart statement it was.
You see our kids may go off to college, graduate, get married, and have their own kids but in “some” way they will always need us.
There is no finish line—it’s comforting, kept me going when I cried driving to the airport, but have tucked the statement in my back pocket since.
My baby girl may not need me as she did when I videotaped every step of her getting out of the car and walking into her first preschool class. She doesn’t need me in the same manner as when I read to her class in elementary school, and I’ll forever miss the days when I looked forward to eating lunch with her friends in middle school.
But my buddy in Home Goods was right.
As parents, there is no finish line.
One day, she will meet the man of her dreams, become a great mother, and find a career that stimulates the wonderful mind she possesses.
But the finish line will still not be in reach.
I appreciate the sage stranger as I loaded the last item of our Bama moving day—-I look forward to the opportunities I have to help in the coming year’s event, though there won’t be as many.
But (I’ll be ready)
When you’re a Dad, your girls will always need you. They both know I’m always a phone call (or a Cash App deposit away).
My life will never be the same after this drop-off but I look forward to the next step in our relationship knowing she will always need me in some way….the race is long, but it’s never over.
No finish lines the first stop in another lap around the Naborhood as always thanks for stopping by.
JIMMY BUFFETT’S BEST: Some people in life are universally loved, and for my money, Jimmy Buffett was one of them. My late parents loved him, my generation adored him, and many of my young students also have an appreciation for such a unique talent.
Country music fans, rock and roll fans, all genres, and all ages loved the king of the Parrotheads.
Buffett admitted that he only got into music to meet girls in college. Safe to say he overachieved?! He built his empire by constantly expanding his brands from music to books to restaurants. He was the ultimate entrepreneur and entertainer.
So many love Buffett, but the proof of his greatness lies in the depths of his music. I bet if you asked five hard-core Parrotheads their top five Buffett songs, you would get five completely different lists. Sure, everyone loves the iconic Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise but his hits are seemingly endless, and he has so many that some great ones are lost in the shuffle. So with that, let me do the impossible and give you my top five Buffett songs (I would love to hear yours):
(5) Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes: Old school Buffett, where this song features possibly his best line, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” So true!
(4) Lucky Stars: this one is sentimental to me as years ago, I was going through a crazy time at work, hoping to land a new job and stressed out. My Dad played it for me. It’s all about gratitude—- be thankful for what you have in life–I firmly endorse you hear this underrated song.
(3) Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit: It’s hard to believe this was released all the way back in 1973. Like so many Buffett songs, it has staying power and takes you away from everyday life. This song does it better than most.
(2) License to Chill: The title track on one of my favorite Buffett albums. It was his 25th, and I highly recommend it–so many duets with great artists in many genres. This song was a collaboration with Kenny Chesney and showcased how much these two artists are alike but gives you that Parrotthead touch.
(1) Pencil Thin Mustache: My all-time favorite, vintage Buffett, a nostalgic tribute to Buffett’s childhood. The title refers to the mustache style of one of his heroes, Boston Blackie. Buffett wishes he had a pencil-thin mustache like the fictional crook-turned-private eye in a popular film series of the ’40s. So many great Parrotheadesque one liners too.
I love the name of Buffett’s great hits, “Songs you know by heart.” It came out my senior year in high school in 1985; I could listen to it over and over for hours. RIP Jimmy, no one like you.
KUDOS TO COACH PRIME: I think many of us can agree–when is the last time you made time to watch a Colorado football game? Thanks Deion Sanders who has quickly moved the college football meter this fall.
When it comes to change, many shy away from it. Some embrace it while others take advantage of it. “Coach Prime” has done the latter since taking over Colorado and subsequently the college football world. In the craziness of NIL and the transfer portal, many traditional coaches like Dabo Sweeney are trying to navigate the waters and stay away from these measures yet Sanders is jumping in and dominating the brand-new landscape.
We’ve never seen a college head coach like Deion Sanders. He doesn’t have a filter, he has the cache of being one of the best players at his position of all time and is the master marketer of himself, his players, and his program.
I’m frankly not surprised by anything he’s done at Colorado. He brought in (count-em) 86 new players including nine who followed Sanders from Jackson State, led by Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son and CU’s starting QB, and Travis Hunter, the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2022 class. I appreciate him paying his dues and then showing he can find success anywhere—-even a team who only won a game last season.
Before Coach Prime jumped to Boulder, I thought Auburn “and” USF were crazy not to hire him—he is exactly the kind of coach that will thrive in today’s Wild West of college football (no leadership from the NCAA) climate. You need a leader who takes advantage of the new rules. Instead of complaining about the current climate, use the changes to your advantage.
I don’t always agree with Prime’s approach—-didn’t like him calling out his Colorado players initially with the social media cameras rolling—-he could have handled it one-on-one. But Deion is Deion. He was brash as a player and backed it up and now is doing it as a coach—so far he’s backing that up, too.
The whole dynamic is fascinating to me. When he suffered his first loss, a humiliating 42-6 hammering defeat to Oregon, he owned it and said “You better get us now” acknowledging that it’s only gonna get better.
I agree–. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Deion–college football needs him. It will be interesting to see where he is and how well he’s done in five years–it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins it all by then–that’s how fast you could do it now a days. Finally, someone is taking advantage of a sport without leadership and a lot of question marks. A great lesson for all of us….. recently I liked what Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said: “It took Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to knock off Deion off the front page.”
Everybody’s watching, it will be interesting to see where this Prime Time reality show will take us next.
NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT…..Is there a more stable profession than hosting a game show?
Think about it: Pat Sajak is stepping down after a 41-year run on Wheel of Fortune. Alex Trebek held down the Jeopardy fort for 37 years and over eight thousand episodes?! And then there’s the late great Bob Barker.
He recently passed at the age of 99, but his life was impressive in so many ways. During World War II, he served in the Navy, had a basketball scholarship at Drury University, and raised millions of dollars for animal rights.
His life was a series of long relationships. He hosted “The Bob Barker Show” on the radio for six years and then pivoted to the game show world hosting “Truth and Consequences” from 1959-1975. He even served as the face of the Miss Universe from 1967 to 2007.
For those of us who grew up in the seventies and eighties, Barker will forever be the host of the “Price is Right.” How many of you best remember Barker when you were home sick, and he was the best option on TV? It’s funny the games never really changed over the years, and Barker didn’t either—but in this day and age of digital options, we’ll never see a run like his again.
EXTRA POINT: My belated Super Bowl predictions (after the first month of the season and after the Aaron Rodgers injury) How about the Bills vs the Niners—the ultimate offense vs defensive showdown.
UNTIL NEXT BLOG,