Sometimes being a dad means life is super busy, and that just can’t be helped. Like today, I was out the door for work before anyone else woke up, and I didn’t see my kids until 5:30 that night. We dropped our minivan off at the garage for some repairs (minor, i hope) and got home at 6:00, leaving me just one hour with my kids until I had to go to church for a deacon’s meeting which would keep me away until after they went to bed.
I’m so thankful for that hour.
We played outside while Erica got dinner together. I started cleaning out the garage to store some stuff for someone else, and in the process found the clippers I had lost, so I started chopping down some small branches from the neighbors tree that were hanging down into my driveway. Ella came by and wanted to help. I jumped up and grabbed the next branch which was way up high and had her hold it while I clipped it (she had to hold it with two hands, and all her might!) When it fell she was immediately done with helping me do that! My sometimes short track mind then saw a rake and so I began raking the leaves while Pax rooted around in the garage discovering old toys that had been put away and Ella was in the ‘back 40’ as I like to call it playing with a stick.
That’s when the ordinary turned extraordinary for me. She saw me raking and came running, “Can I help you, daddy?” I grabbed her small red plastic rake from just inside the garage door and handed it to her. In a flash she was finding ‘new leaves’ and was raking them into the pile I had started. Pax was only a few moments behind her when he started picking up the leaves from the big pile and ‘helping’ me by bringing them to the small pile I was raking…We started talking about making a BIG pile for them to jump in as soon as more leaves fell, and the smiles on their faces are burned into my memory tonight.
We only had five more minutes until it was time to eat, but we devoured those minutes together playing in the leaves.
Soon enough, dinner was over and I was out the door. I felt bad that I had only seen my kids for that short time, and yet I thought about how much of being an extraordinary dad really just takes place in so many ordinary parts of the day. Like raking and playing in the leaves together.
We have a great weekend planned, camping out in our living room and then it’s all things pumpkin on Saturday! I’m really looking forward to our family day together AND I get Columbus day off, too! I’m glad I’ll be able to spend more than just one hour with them this weekend but I hope we have as much fun as we did for those five minutes playing in the leaves!