Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Use of Time

Greetings friends and family,

Sometimes moments and memories are significant for what isn't present more than what is present. Our week has been wonderfully empty.  No visitors, no traveling, no schedule, no appointments.  Our long weekend was this kind of moment.  The weather was bizarre.  Of course, it was hot (duh) but we had a mix of sun, thunder storms, heavy rain and tree-toppling wind.  The city is littered with trees falling into the streets and buildings, including my next door neighbor's house that wound up with their front yard tree crash on it.  During the crazy weather and aftermath as we walked around I could tell the twins were gauging their reaction based on mine.  Yes, it was tragic, but I didn't make light of the situation or freak out with worry.  I'm finding that their stability is outlook on life is very much related to how I act.

During one of the thunder storms Easton and Layla stood quietly on the porch with me.  I said, "who wants to go swimming?"  They both looked at me like I was crazy.  I said, "What?  are you worried about getting wet from the rain?  Well, don't be!  we're going to be in the pool!"  With that affirmation they screamed, "Yay, Let's. Go. SWIMMING!"  We put on our suites and cheered for the craziness of the new experience. 

We charged the pool like Custer's last stand.

Kendra just shook her head and went back inside where she was cool and dry.  After this windy storm we wondered through the greenbelt where several huge trees blew over.  The twins thought it was exciting to climb on the trunk and balance their way across.

Then the big one hit.  We pulled on our rain boots and went outside to survey the damage and play in the puddles. The storm drain from the street to the greenbelt was clogged, which led to the street flooding almost into the neighbor's house.  Luckily it was down a few houses from us, but still a scary situation.

I went to the local home improvement store between storms.  As I came out I saw this double rainbow stretched across the sky.  Sure made for some memorable settings.

Last week I went to Easton and Layla's school alone for curriculum night.  The hour-long session included all other parents and the two kindergarten teachers.  I only met Easton's teacher once during the parent night and she didn't remember who I was.  Well, she didn't know who I was until I asked several questions.  I gave other parents a chance, but I was the main question asker.  about half-way through the hour Easton's teacher said, "You're Easton's Dad aren't you?"  We shared a smile and I proudly nodded.

Walking through school hallways with kids running around brought back a flood of memories.  My school experience was very positive, but I couldn't wait to get out of there!

Anyway, back to the long weekend, I tried to do Yoga while Kendra was gone with her friend having girl time.  I invited the twins to do it with me, but that only lasted about 10 minutes.  Then they found humor in treating me like a bridge.  Every position I changed to they found some way to get under me.  Made the yoga workout extra difficult, but we all had lots of laughs.

Kendra and I had grand plans for how to spend our 3-day-weekend.  However, when it came time to decide how to spend our day I chose to spend it taking Easton and Layla on individual daddy dates.  I completed the chores around the house that must get done.  There is a list a mile long of stuff that should get done and I would like to do around the house, but I decided several years ago that most of it can wait.  I'll always have another day or long weekend to fix things, move things, and build things.  However, I will never get another chance to be a Dad of five year olds.

I gave them complete free-reign to do whatever each of them wanted.  Layla asked to go window shopping at the Disney store, share a pretzel with cheese, buy a piece of candy from the store, find some soccer cleats, eat lunch, and walk through the mall together.  Whew! that was a tall order, but we did it all exactly in the order she requested.  I know money can't buy love, but after I bought her a hand-selected bag of M&Ms she said I was the best Daddy she ever had.

Lunch was delightful.  We sat on the same side of the booth and shared some sweet and sour chicken.

At the 2nd hand kid store we sifted through a crate-full of size 11 shoes.  Then I came across the best find ever.  perfectly fitted pink soccer shoes!  score!  This princess is ready to kick some ball.

Easton's request was to window shop at Target, share a pretzel, and visit the hobby shop to repair our remote control helicopter.  I'm a huge believer in NOT doing anything for a kid they can do themselves.  However, I offered to carry him across the parking lot just because I still can.  He's getting so big that soon I won't be able to do that.  He gladly rested his head on my shoulder and gave me a big hug with an "I love you".  It's worth it.  by "it" I mean everything.  All of the money, time, and opportunity cost is worth it just to experience those extraordinary moments in time.

When all was said and done with our family-focused weekend, the house was fairly clean, the yard is OK, and my to do list is longer than when we started.  but the fun times we shared on daddy dates and playing games at home are too valuable to miss.  Whatever else I could have done like my own hobbies or clean-up/repair stuff would have zero eternal value compared with investing in my future, the twins.
Now back to work and school we go!

See you soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see you all! Loved the rain and rainbow pics along with the story about daddy dates. You are an awesome dad! Love ya gobs, MOM