Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Best Day....

I had plans for today. If you know me, you understand that I always have plans. I actually make plans to plan stuff. It’s just what I do. It helps me stay organized, not forget stuff and make sure everything I need to do gets done.…and when I make plans and things change, I don’t really handle it well….plans aren’t supposed to change…that’s why they’re called plans. If I didn’t mind change, I’d just wake up and see how the day went…but then stuff wouldn’t get done and the whole day would just be left to the whims of whatever….

Today my plan was to get up early, enjoy my coffee, eat a good breakfast and meet my buddy Tracy and some others for a mountain bike ride. Afterwards, I needed to get the lawns mowed, some chores done, work on the garage and exchange the bike I bought Caleb for his birthday for a larger size.

The day started out well and went according to plan for at least the first 10 minutes….I woke up early, made coffee and then the world started to deviate from the plans I had so carefully made. My daughter wanted to talk. I could tell, because….well, she was talking to me….

As a parent, I feel blessed to have a relationship with both my girls where they actually want to talk to me and I actually try my best to encourage it. How you ask? Well, I encourage it by actually listening and responding when they talk….I know…pretty scientific huh?

Anyway, as I sat there and enjoyed my coffee, I kept one eye on the clock. It was still possible that I could fulfill my role as a not terribly horrible parent and get back on plan by meeting my buddies. Soon enough though, I realized, it wasn’t going to happen. My daughter is going through some real challenges in her life right now and even though she’s way smarter and much stronger than I am as a person, I guess she just needed someone to sit and share with her for a while.

So, knowing that her needs were way more important than any plans I had, I sent Tracy a text bailing on the ride and settled in to see how my day would develop. Deb got up as we were talking and sat with us as we had coffee and tried to work through some issues. Soon enough, Caleb woke up and the energy and the tone of the household picked up to a pace that only a 4 year old can generate.

After breakfast and a shower, Caleb and I decided we were going to get haircuts. Obviously for one of us its something that will be done with increasing frequency while for the other, less and less of these will be needed as time goes on.
Haircuts done, we decided it was time for a coffee. Actually, only grandpa was having coffee, Caleb opted for a hot cocoa and we decided to share a bagel. As we sat and ate our bagel and drank our beverages, we discussed how we were going to proceed with the day…ok, yes, I had him making plans.

We had decided to go home, pick up his bike and head to the bike shop to exchange it for a larger size. Of course, as the world was obviously mocking me for making plans, the bike shop didn’t have his size so we headed to another bike shop and yet another before finally getting one in his size and within my budget.

Having finished the task we set out for, we headed home with a brand new green and white Diamond Back bicycle in the car. By now, it was almost noon and since most 4 year olds and even some grandpa’s need naps so they don’t get cranky, Caleb and I lay down on the couch to “watch the Tour of Spain” Yep, that’s code for taking a nap.

After a nap, it was time to try out the new bike. So, helmet on, we made a couple of test runs around the back yard and Caleb took off for a lap of the neighborhood with grandpa jogging behind him. He’s really good on the bike and had I known I would have to run the whole 1 mile lap in order to keep up, I would probably have worn my running shoes instead of flip flops.

Afterwards, we played baseball on the front lawn then made a grocery store run to pick up stuff to bbq for dinner. We had decided to make steaks, salad and strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream.
As we plugged in the hand mixer and began our dessert, Caleb looked up at me and said…..”Grandpa, this was the best day!” and you know what? He was right.

Despite the fact that none of what I had planned had actually gotten done and despite the fact that the lawns weren’t mowed, the garage wasn’t cleaned and I hadn’t gone for the mountain bike ride with my buddies, today HAD been a great day. And, at some point during the day, I think when we were enjoying our morning coffee and cocoas, I forgot about my plans and forgot about my chores and just started enjoying the time spent with one of the coolest kids I’ve ever known.


Christina said...

Caleb's pretty lucky to have you in his life. And you did get one thing done you had wanted to, you exchanged his bike for an awesome new one!

Jojo said...

Once in a while I am lucky enough to have one of the boys say that to me. It always makes my eyes fill up and reminds me of what life is all about.

Someday you and I will both make peace with the reality that the only thing change. I hate that, but it's true.

You rock, Rich. :)

Struggling with Duality said...

While we enjoyed an absolutely fabulous Mountain Bike ride at Skeggs - somehow I feel cheated - hummm.