Letting Go

So my children are away at Grandma & Grandpa’s for much of this week.  This is our first extended (longer than two days) time away from each other.  Initially the thought of having a few days without the crew around was quite appealing, but as is often the case, ideas tend to outpace reality.

It’s not just that I miss our daughter slicking into our bed at least twice a night, being awoken by the shrieks of our 9-month old son, or our oldest asking for cereal before sunup.  I realized that this is the first step in the process of letting go.  Our children will be with us only for a short while, as we try to teach them how to be a light to the world.  18 some-odd years seems like a long time, but it goes by quickly.  Our oldest will be 6 in December, and our is daughter will be 3 in two weeks, going on 14 it feels.  My role as their father is to make the most of these few moments, and pray that God makes up the difference.

Grandma has sent a few phone pics and informed us, that the children ask about us everyday.  That made me smile.

First (Real) Snow of the Winter

Got our first snow of the season here in Norfolk Monday night. Didn’t venture out, just a few shots from the window.

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And Tuesday morning:

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I got to hand it to The Tide maintenance crew. They were out early Tuesday clearing the tracks and platform so commuters wouldn’t skip a beat. Also to the good folks at Harris Teeter on Colonial Ave. They did the amazing feat of opening up all checkout lanes to assist shoppers trying to get home Monday night.

Quality Time

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It’s the simple things that matter the most

I am a fairly busy person.  Married to a superwoman, father of two (soon to be three) cherubs, “working” full-time outside of the home, in addition to a myriad of other activities doesn’t provide for much spare time.  My son reminds me of Sonic The Hedgehog.  Kay-Kay as we call him, just can’t sit still for more than 3 seconds, before he’s off like a whirlwind.  Kay-Kay only knows one speed: fast.  My wife and I have long since ceased asking him to slow down or walk.  Kay-Kay loves life and wants to experience as much of it as possible.

On Sunday afternoon I asked my son what he wanted to do for the rest of the day.  Kay-Kay had just awoke from his nap.  My wife and I try to do get our children out of the house as much as possible.  They love to watch TV, which is not bad, but too much of it is.  Without hesitating he exclaimed, “I want to go to Mount Trashmore”.  Mount Trashmore is a landfill converted park adjacent to I-264 in Virginia Beach.  There are two play grounds, walking trail, and pond at the park.  The main attraction is a fairly steep hill (really a mount of trash with grass planted on top) in the center of it all.  At the top of the hill you are afforded a great 360 degree view of the park, I-264, and the nearby Town Center Area.  Unfortunately for Kay-Kay, his sister Kema slept about an hour and a half longer than he did.  She didn’t wake up until nearly 5pm.  There wouldn’t be enough time for us to go and spend enough time to enjoy the park, since my wife and I had an appointment that evening.  I told Kay-Kay we would go the following day.

Monday afternoon rolls around and I’m back home from work.  I had plans to surprise my wife with a fresh haircut, but it had been so long since I went to the barber that I forgot the good ones usually don’t open on Mondays.  Annoyed, I walked into our apartment.  Shortly after dinner, Kay-Kay reminded me “We need to hurry up so we can go to Mount Trashmore, right Dad?”  I didn’t respond immediately; I wasn’t in the mood to go.  My wife could see it on my face.  She just gave me one of those “you promised” looks.  Before I knew it I said, “sure son.  Let’s get your shoes on.”

We arrived at Mount Trashmore.  The park was teeming with people.  I assumed we would have a difficult time finding a parking space until a young couple hailed me down and informed us that they were leaving.  That was nice of him.  After we parked and unloaded, we began our accent up the Mount.  Kay-Kay raced ahead up the staircase, while I assisted Kema who was taking her sweet time.  We reached the summit and were rewarded with a steady cool breeze.  I brought Kay-Kay’s Transformers Kite, knowing the location to be ideal for this activity.  There was no difficultly getting the kite up in the air.  Kay-Kay was so excited, and so were the young children of onlookers.

I almost missed this tranquil moment with my family.  I thought of how many times I had forgone quality time with the people I care most about because of some thought or emotion from work or the day I had failed to completely process and digest.  I was convicted.  It is so easy to allow these chances to slip our grasp.