I spent 24 hours with my youngest son Jakin this last week. We rented a Cow Cabin down in the floor of the Palo Duro Canyon. We hiked, climbed, played cards, played follow the leader, waded a half mile down a creek, rode horses, ate, saw spiders, hawks, cardinals, wild turkey's, jackrabbits, giant beetles, deer, and most importantly, each other. We had an all around super time.
I spent 24 hours with my oldest son Shade this last week. We rented a hotel room at the local Drury here in town. We swam, went to a movie, went geocaching (treasure hunting), played cards, hung out at the skate park with our BMX bikes, stayed up way too late, ate, swam some more, made a few friends at the hotel, and most importantly, were with each other. It was awesome.
I spent 24 hours with my daughter Callie this last week. We stayed in the Drury as well. We went shopping, bought something pink, laughed, swam, hugged, held hands, saw a movie, played tons of cards, swam some more, ate, packed together, went to church, and most importantly, enjoyed each other. I finished our "day" telling her that my heart was full of joy because of being with her for so long. It was.
Another incredible thing about my experience with each kid was that while I was enjoying concentrated time with each one, I found myself missing the other two profoundly, along with my wife.
And it wasn't just me. They each look forward to this annual "day with dad" each year, but while I was just starting with one son, he said, "Dad, I think I just want to go home and be with the family." And my other son, after a few hours together, wondered aloud, "I wonder what mom is doing with the other kids?" And then my daughter, as we were headed down to the pool lit up as she said, "Let's call mom and the boys to come join us!"
We all got back together today. It was a great reunion of fighting, bickering, playing, sharing, arguing, laughing, accusing, accepting, forgiving, complaining, and...well...family.
I do a day with each child every year during my 3 week sabbatical from my regular routine. Each year, while I love the time alone with God, the time away from the office, the rest from my regular duties, I find myself thinking about and missing all of the people that I live with in it.
I miss my family.
I've got one more week. Then it will be a great reunion of...well...family.
I love you all for the role you play in my life. Please know that I am always eager to find how to better play my role within it and with you.
May our Father make it so.