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Mission City Voices: Treasure the Moments

May 17, 2013


My son, Scott, 21, is leaving home on June 4th and joining the United States Air Force. Needless to say, my wife and I are enjoying every moment with him. It’s not that we haven’t enjoyed the moments before, but these last few weeks will be even more precious.

When I look at my son, I don’t just see a 21-year-old man. I see a young boy playing catch with his Dad in the backyard. I see the disappointed look on his face when the ride operator at Disneyland tells us he’s not tall enough to go on ‘Indiana Jones.’  I see him shuffling he hands through the big box of Legos trying to find that right piece.


Live in the moment. I’ve heard that expression so many times before, but I never really ‘lived’ it.

One evening, when Scott was maybe 10-12 years of age, he was creating lots of noise shuffling through his Lego pieces. I asked him to do it quietly so I could hear the television. Then, it began to dawn on me.  I said to myself, “enjoy the noise, Phil, because these moments won’t last forever.” Who cares if I can’t hear the ballgame on television. I realized that it wasn’t about me; it was about Scott and his joy in building something ‘really neat.’   So, I just watched Scott engrossed in what he was doing, smiled and treasured that moment.  Today, I look back at that night and think, where did the time go?

When I perform my magic act I take in each moment and enjoy the ‘ride’ with the audience. Seeing the joy and smiles on people’s faces and their excitement when the magic happens is a truly powerful moment. I get to be a part of their lives for a brief time.  As a magician, I can snap my fingers and make a handkerchief disappear and reappear. I only wish I could make time reappear.

The three of us are going to Disneyland next week for four wonderful days. We’re going to stay at the Disney California Grand Hotel, get up at 7:00 a.m. for a power walk around the park, go on all the rides, and get a picture with Mickey Mouse. We’ll take lots of pictures.  And, I am going to enjoy every minute.

Now, five years later, Scott is stationed 35 miles east of Pensacola, Florida and works as a Systems Flight Engineer.  He comes home for a visit about once a year.

I made a visit to see him in Florida for a few days last month.


Do you have a personal essay that you’d like to submit for consideration? Send them to subject line: Mission City Voices.


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