I was driving home from the airport yesterday from my trip to Montana for a Zumba training and master class. I usually would have been on the phone with my dad. He was the one who I called when I was driving for a long time and we would "shoot the breeze" as he would say.
He always answered my calls and was never in a hurry to get off the phone. Oddly enough, I am pretty sure everyone felt this same way. Mike Akin had time for you, that's one thing you knew for sure.
I let my mind drift for a moment about my dad. I think about him all the time but I don't always let myself get too deep, as this is when the tears come. We are sneaking up on two years since his death. He was exceptional. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that that man was my King.
I remember going to my dads apartment as a little girl. I remember the book shelves-avid reader, ever learning, I remember the chandelier-always letting me take home a "crystal", and I remember feeding the ducks. This is where my mind drifted as I drove home.
The pond was just down the street from my dad's apartment. We would grab bread and walk down. Slowly, never in a hurry but to enjoy the moment. He would let me feed the ducks at whatever pace I wanted, whole slices?? sure! little by little? no problem. He would sit and watch me and giggle. He would really laugh when the geese would come. These were no ordinary geese. They were larger than life and fueled with anger. They seemed to be the protectors of this pond and they saw me as a threat. I would start to run and scream and my dad would just laugh and swoop me up and we would walk to another area. He was always so calm. I remember two times my dad ever raising his voice at me.
I think of when my kids are irrational and Brian and I get the giggles because we understand the reality of the situation where as our children don't. I am sure this is what brought about my dad's laughter when these geese would have me seeing my life flash before my very eyes.
As a parent, I am constantly analyzing, comparing, studying my kids upbringing in comparison to my own. I want to create those memories where they can look back and think of the times spent together with happiness. I know I am not always the parent I want to be. Everyday I rethink my focus, my strategy (if you can call it that) and try new things the next day to improve. Being a parent isn't about what I can teach them but rather what they can teach me. They make sure I am always learning. Ha! Thanks for that. ;)
This morning there were very little tears as I brushed the tangles out of my daughter's hair. Bonus morning for us! Kids got to school on time and with a smile. Another bonus. I am now heading to the school to read with my son's class. Bonus.
If I can slow my pace, laugh at the little things in life and realize that this too shall pass-to enjoy it while it's here. I think I'm on the right track....now I just gotta stay put!