So it came to pass early today, on a freezing, drizzly morning, that Google notified me that my journey to drop my daughter off at school on time was off to a 5 minute late start. We hurried out the door and made our way onto the highway that was jam-packed with autos all rushing as best they could.
Flashback: Carter, a cute, cuddly plush toy that somehow survived my 7 year old’s childhood and was immediately adopted by baby sister. Carter’s fur is no longer quite as plush. He, it, survived the teething of two children and for the most part is still as cute as he was when he/it first joined our household 7 years ago.
I admit, I hate running late. I hate being misdirected. I hate dealing with traffic (as such, I take great pains to ensure my time on the road is minimized to the necessary minutes required for delivery and drop-off and employment arrival). So when I heard those words I knew right then and there what had happened. I cringed. Then in the milliseconds between my breaths I went through every scenario that I knew a frustrated dad could go and none of them ended pretty. So instead, I looked her in the eyes through the rearview mirror and I said, “Let’s go get him!” with a sincere smile and adventurous voice.
At that moment I saw the relief in her eyes. She knew that her daddy was not mad, we exited the highway and got back on via a turnaround. When I quizzed her about where Carter might be, she said “asleep on the couch”. Pulling up into the garage I entered our home and retrieved our sleeping Carter to the joys and smiles of a contented little girl. Arrival time at school 8:44 (14 minutes later than usual). Arrival time at work 9:12 am, no rushing, no dashing on the highway, only the feeling of contentment knowing that my little girl had a wonderful start to her day and so did I.
So I ran across this blog today and it made me wonder about how I am when my little girl and I are out and about. You see, right now, she wants to spend every opportunity she can with me, whether its taking the garbage can outside, washing our dog, painting art work, you name it. It’s flattering. And I cherish every moment of it because I know that at some point in the future, this will go away.
But for now, we make up silly stories and we rhyme out nonsensical sentences no matter where we are. So, the blog that I have a link to below, looks at a daddy and his little girl on just such an excursion not unlike ones she and I have embarked on.
So as I gaze at this blog, I am surprised to see that so much time has passed by. I suppose I should explain.
Beginning June of 2013, we as a family decided to get rid of the cable television connection at our home. I have to admit that the decision was extremely painful for someone like myself who intentionally sought out news, cooking shows, and HGTV.
Our kids being 6 and 2 didn’t have much of an opinion but the older one did express concern about losing his Nick Jr. shows. It was then that I realized just how much, though unintentionally, we used the television to pacify them; to buy ourselves quiet moments of reprieve.
I found myself that next day, after pulling the plug, on the floor coloring lines across paper at the direction of our youngest while our older worked intently with glue, Popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners. Dinner time was different as well. It was quieter…attention was focused on each other instead of the entertainment on the screen.
We started reading more. The bicycles in the garage started getting used. And best of all, when the holiday season rolled around and I asked the older what he wanted for Christmas, he had no answer! Which meant that whatever he received was going to be a wonderful surprise. And it was.