Winter Park, Zephyr Express Lift, 8:33 am, New Years Day 2013. -10F. 4″ of fresh powder. With Dad. Looking east.
I knew that our Christmas time this year was going to be busy. Busy but good.
Amy’s parents stayed with us. My parents spent some time with us. Then my Dad (from Alabama) provided an opportunity for me to lead the devotional time for his church’s ski trip to Winter Park over the New Year’s weekend. For us to see all three sets of grandparents for Christmas – a huge blessing for us, a rarity given how spread apart the country we are.
Before we took off to Colorado, I sat the family down and gave them “the speech.”
I said – enjoy the moment. Be in the moment. This is going to be a great trip, but a long one. We are driving, we have to take care of some errands. We are on a budget, we are going as guests of Dad and Mary and the church. We will have to wait – on food, in lift lines, for skis, for others. Just be in the moment. Don’t think about the long drive out or back or the snow on the pass or this detail or that detail – just be in the moment. Enjoy the moment. Let it happen in front of us.
Wanna know the crazy thing about parenting? About 90% of the stuff we tell our kids is really for our own benefit.
I got to show my kids how to fix a loose side-view mirror. In 20 degree weather. In the wind. At a hole in the whole auto-parts store in Salina, Kansas. We almost got high together on the spray adhesive remover. They learned that if the label says – “Do not use in enclosed spaces” – it’s probably got a good reason for it. (We fixed it by the way – good as new. For $30 in supplies as opposed to the $300 Toyota wanted. Take that!)
I learned you can spend almost 2 hours in a Walmart and not go crazy. At least not totally crazy.
We learned that we have more friends than we do time. Had so many people that we couldn’t catch up with – you know who you are!! Just know that the English family loves you all. We are humbled by your friendship. It was the one disappointment of the trip – not having the time to hang out.
My family was patient with me as they once again allowed me to take them to a “hole in the wall” place to eat as an experiment. I normally bat around .300 – 1 out 3 places end up being great. Not a great percentage – I realize BUT…this time – we hit a grand slam. Sam’s #3, a block off 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. It ended up being a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives place and it may possibly be the most awesomest place in downtown to eat as a family. We tried to go back to eat there again but the wait was out the door and down the street.
We got dehydrated, we slept in 4 different places in 4 nights, we skied, we froze, we warmed up, we taught flatlanders how to ski, we laughed, we tubed, my family got adopted into Grove Hill United Methodist Church. I got to get up early and get some powder runs in with my Dad after 4 inches of snow.
And yes, we got to see the Winter Park Ski Patrol Emergency Clinic. Fortunately, Cayden escaped with a torn ligament in her foot. She will be fine in a few weeks. She got to hear some new words by a guy in the curtain next to her as they set the bones…that’s right… BONES (plural) in his hand and arm for casting. She got to see a girl cry – not because she was hit by a boy 3 times her size and had whiplash (they caught him, by the way) – but because the Dr. told her she couldn’t go back skiing today.
Then it was time to pack and come home.
I got a bit overwhelmed, thinking of all the packing, all the driving, all the meetings, all the stuff waiting for me, all the phone calls, all the emails. Too much to do, not enough time or energy…and one of my kids plopped down on the bed across from me.
I must of had that look in my eyes of “why don’t you get up and do something useful that will help me get us ready to go in the morning.” And this child must of have either not understood this look or was ignoring it.
I exhaled. More like a big sigh that says – “What in the world do you want because I’m really busy doing something important – like being grumpy and consumed about all the stuff in front of me.”
“Be in the moment.”
Well played. Humbled.
We got home last night. What is normally a painful process of unloading, unpacking, starting laundry, getting food – wasn’t.
I was wiping down the skis getting them ready for storage while the rest of the family finished their unpacking. They got done before I did. As they got their pizza and sat around the TV, we started the finale of The Voice that we have been trying to watch for months now. I’m not convinced we watched that much of it between the Angry Bird fight and other nonsense – it was more like background music.
But, it gave me time to just thank God for this past two weeks. He’s still larger than I imagined. He still teaches me that I am still a work in progress. He reminds me of my need of Him in the tender words of my kids – “be in the moment, dad.” He still amazes me that despite the 150 things I’m goofing up as a parent, He’ll take those moments of good and multiply them.
It’s already been a Happy New Year.