It’s Not Like They Have Extra Time.
Five days a week, I get up and look at my calendar. Some days, I drive Dylan to school. Some days, my dad drives Dylan to school. Some days, my dad drives Dylan home, too. Other days, my dad takes Shane out to breakfast and drives him to school, so that Shane isn’t alone in the morning.
After school, Shane doesn’t ride a bus. His friends sometimes take him home and they have playdates. Most days, my parents pick up Shane at school while I pick up Dylan. We all meet back at my house. Or, sometimes, Shane goes to my parents’ house and they have some quality play time.
Today, Shane has a field trip, so both boys had to be at school at the same time – 15 miles apart. My dad came over this morning, hugged everyone, and drove Dylan to school so that I could take Shane. My dad acted like it was no big deal to drive for 90 minutes at 7:00 in the morning.
“Thanks, Dad!” I yelled as Dylan and he left, relieved to concentrate solely on getting Shane to his field trip.
“Anytime!” he called back. It was like a scene from Father Knows Best. Sometimes it’s like living in Father Knows Best. Stranger still, my dad actually means it.
This afternoon, Shane is coming home from a field trip that I wasn’t chosen to chaperone. I can hardly wait to hear how it goes, what he did, what he learned. Those first ten minutes after school are so precious. So I mentioned this to my mom in an email, that I’d love to pick up Shane from school today.
“I’ll get Dylan,” she emailed back. Perhaps she hesitated, thinking about the long drive, but I’ll never know. And off will go my mom at 2:30, for a 90-minute drive into the country and back, shuttling a different kid today.
Just yesterday, she was at my kitchen table when I got home with Dylan, downloading a song for Shane on her iPhone. The day before that, she picked up Shane from school, fed him, and drove him to church for his weekly youth group.
My parents are not bored, nor do they lead boring lives. My mom plays tennis several times a week, and is a Stephen minister at our church when she’s not providing random acts of kindness elsewhere. My dad plays softball from April to October, volleyball when it’s cooler, and rides his bike 20-40 miles if weather permits. They both take long walks on a regular basis, have weekly date nights, keep their house up-to-date and beautiful, and keep up with the world and all its technical advances better than I do.
So it’s not like they have “extra” time. Yet they make that time, for me, for my husband and for my children. They are the grandparents every child wants, who love my kids unconditionally. And they listen to me talk about my day, and help me raise my kids far better than I ever could have done alone.
I know, every day and with every fiber of my being, that I am so incredibly blessed to have a mom and a dad in my city, in my life and in my kids’ lives, who are such a present part of our family. There are no words to thank them for all they do. Nothing can thank them for all that they do.
So I’ll do what I can – which is to pray that someday, I’ll be just like them.