This is a purely personal post. Nothing in here about business, marketing, branding, or anything else. If you really try to stretch it, you might get something about priorities, but I won’t ask you to. In 2007, one of my favorite magazines at the time, MacAddict, had just transformed itself into MacLife, and wanted to know what songs we had in our iTunes playlists. So, they ran a contest asking for our ‘Perfect Playlist’. I had been building one for about 7 years, and I chose to share it. I didn’t win, but the playlist is still there and exists and grows by a song every now and again. If you’re a dad, you might appreciate it. And maybe I’ll update this article later on with the newer additions.
Here’s my Perfect Playlist.
Since 2000, the most important and most rewarding part of my life has been my daughter, Esmaya. Several years back, I started to save songs that most strongly reminded me of being a father and husband, and I keep them in iTunes in a playlist I call the Dadlist. Since I only grab the ones that really touch me, its been growing slowly. A lot of fluff could have made it, but I didn’t want to go that route. These are the best of the best to me. The cream of the crop in emotional heart-string tugging.
I’m not sure what I’ll eventually do with the list. When I became a parent, the idea of death really became important to me. Before, dying just didn’t matter the way it does now that I have people depending on me. So, I wanted to make sure I left something for my daughter to remember the way I feel about her in case something happens. On the other hand, she might get a copy when she leaves home in a few, short, 10 years or so, and I’ll just keep adding to it as we both get older so I can give her an updated list later on.
So, here’s the list.
- George Strait – I Just Want to Dance with You.
- Creed – With Arms Wide Open
- Phil Collins – You’ll Be in My Heart
- Gary Allan – Tough Little Boys
- Randy Newman – You’ve Got a Friend in Me
- Bob Carlisle – Butterfly Kisses
- Lonestar – My Front Porch Looking In
- Phil Vassar – Just Another Day in Paradise
- Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
- Heartland – I Loved Her First
And here are the explanations
- This is the odd one in the bunch. Technically, its a man singing to his woman, but my wife doesn’t dance. Long before my daughter was born, I had thought to myself… “If I ever have a daughter, I’m going to pick her up and dance with her to this song.” So, its looks strange in this list, but is very special to my relationship with my daughter.
- This is the way I felt when my wife told me she was pregnant. 8 months to think about things, and all I could do was be excited about the cool things I’d show her. In fact, I started reading MacAddict to her as a child. Showing her cool things and helping her experience new things is still a large part of our relationship.
- Watching her grow is an exciting thing. The more she does, though, the less it seems she needs me, it seems. So, its a bittersweet feeling, knowing that she has the strength inside to explore more and more of this world, but knowing that doing so will eventually take her away from me. But she’ll always be in my heart, no matter where she roams.
- This is me to a “t”. Want to scare the living daylights out of me? Tell me something is wrong with my girl. Want to see me struggle with meting out justice? Watch me have to discipline her. Want to watch me get really, uncharacteristically mad? Threaten her or treat her poorly, or even just influence her into doing something wrong.
- This one is pretty self-explanatory. When things get tough, she can always count on dad. Whether for some muscle, some wisdom, a shoulder to cry on, or just a listening ear. And no matter how much it hurts either of us, I always try to teach her the right thing.
- Growing up, you expect that your spouse will probably be your greatest love. Once you become a parent, though, you realize you were wrong. Everything from her is genuine and true. What have I done to deserve such a wonderful love in my life?
- The guys often ask me out for a few drinks after work. I usually decline, saying “Its story time. My kid is going to be waiting for me.” Once someone added, “Well, they won’t mind if you go out once in a while, will they?” To which I realized, and responded, “This is my favorite part of every day. Sitting around with my wife and kid and reading stories.”
- I don’t have to look all around the world for the most valuable things. I have them at home already.
Life ain’t perfect, but with a happy home, it’s pretty good.
- She’s growing up. I’m putting as much into her as I can. Encouraging her to be curious, to explore, to push her limits and experience the world. I want her to dance when she wants to, and not dance, only when she doesn’t feel like it. I want her to make the most of what her life will offer.
- It seems silly, this song in the mix when my daughter is only 7, but it touched me from the first time I heard it. It resonates to me even now, though, every time she comes home enamored with a new teacher, or a new best friend. I’ll let them borrow her, but she’s my little girl, not theirs. That will always be true. Her husband had better remember that. (As a side note, 2 weeks ago, a friend of ours got married. She danced with her father to this song, and I almost – tho not quite – lost it. Just a bit misty, eyed is all.)