“One of the enduring curiosities of parenthood is that you have no idea what moments will endure. I…”

One of the enduring curiosities of parenthood is that you have no idea what moments will endure. I can vaguely remember, so many times, doing something with Elizabeth — holding her when she was just a child or taking her to her first something or other or having one of those important heart-to-heart talks — and thinking: “Oh, I’ll never forget this exact moment.”

And I’ve forgotten them. The details are lost. Oh, I’m sure they’re in my mind somewhere, and maybe they will emerge at some point, but right now they are gone. Her first day of school? Her first ballgame? Her first full-throated laugh? The unforgettable time that she … what did she do again? Gone.

Meanwhile, other moments, silly things, pointless things, they stand out, like something red in a fog of white. A bad pun she said once. The time I helped her study for a fairly meaningless quiz. That soccer game when she stood around talking to a friend even as the ball rolled by her time and again.

So, while it’s fresh in my mind now, I cannot imagine forgetting any detail of sitting with Elizabeth while we watched Hamilton. But I will forget. I will forget the details of this difficult but hopeful year. I will forget the size of eyes as she stared at the stage and tried to memorize it. I will forget because the years pile on, and memories cloud as they bump into each other, and I barely remember where I was yesterday.

But she will remember. That’s the thing. She will remember every detail. She will remember it the way I remember what it was like inside Cleveland Municipal Stadium with those stupid steel beams blocking every view of the field and the wind howling off of the Lake and the smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke. She will remember every little thing about that theater, about that stage, about Lin’s voice, about my jacket being around her shoulders, about Burr’s unplanned little laugh when watching King George dance, about that night.

As we walked out into New York, the echo of the show still ringing, she held on to me tight, and she stumbled because she was still inside the dream. She leaned up and kissed me on the cheek.

“Are you going to start crying again?” I asked her.

“No,” she said, but she did, just a little, and she clung to me tighter, and I leaned down and sang in her ear:

‘They’ll tell the story of tonight.”

She smiled and wiped away her tear. “They’ll tell the story of tonight,” she sang back.

Joe Posnanski, “Hamilton”

just read the whole damn thing

(via thefederalistfreestyle)

an update:


When morning arrived, Elizabeth was as groggy and grumpy as any 14-year-old who wakes up in the morning, and when I told her that we had something to show her, she was as skeptical as any 14-year-old would be. Show what? Some educational video? A lame adult meme that isn’t at all hip with the kids (Elizabeth and our other daughter Katie have started saying again and again that I’m just not “hip with the kids”).

When I handed her the iPad, she looked blankly at it, and you could see her mind working around it.

Hey, this is a tweet from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Hey, he mentions someone named Elizabeth.

Hey, wait, that Elizabeth is actually me.

And then she just started bawling. It was the most overwhelmed with emotion I think I’ve ever seen her, including when her favorite Harry Potter character died (no spoilers). She just cried and cried, and she didn’t try to stop, and we didn’t try to stop her. I talk about never really knowing what you will remember and what you will forget, and that’s true. I’m pretty sure I won’t forget that.

(via thefederalistfreestyle)

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Tags: parenting, hamilton.

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