The smile on my son’s face, as he burst into the camper this morning, while holding a slimy dripping catfish just a couple feet from my face exclaiming “I caught one”, makes it worth it.
The look on Sophia's face as she sat playing Uno with the late seventies couple we just met at camp, makes it worth it. The same old man, Larry, who does professional bead work for Indian tribes all over the country, taught Sophia how to bead, something he learned to do over fifty years ago...that makes it worth
Vivian “took off” on her bike this weekend and officially has taken a spot as one of the “big kids.” While riding down a hill showing off her new skills to dad, the bike was gaining more speed that she knew what to do with. The utter expression of terror on her face and a quick cry for help was satisfied as she was caught safely by mom and dad just before crashing. Being there to catch her made it worth it.
Sitting at the campfire last night singing to the strum of the guitar, praising, and laughing together with young kids, preteens, teens, young adults, young families, older families, and older, wiser and slightly gray headed church family under a brilliant star specked sky made it worth it.
I enjoyed my many conversations with our camp neighbor, professional retiree’s who travel the country 365 day a year in their RV/rolling home. Our conversations were frequently interrupted by “hey dad, watch this” “can you help me for a minute” “dad, dad, dad, DDDDDAAAAADDDD.” My neighbor looked at me with a smile and a glistening sparkle in his eye and said, “Don’t blink cuz it will be gone in a moment and you will be left in a big empty house that was once loud and full of bodies and life, wondering where in the heck the time went.” It reminded me of a pastor who shared his experiences to a group of dads a coupe of weeks ago.. he said as a pastor he made many trips to the hospital to be with guys who were in their last moments. He said the seen was usually the same, as family members come around to sit with, cry with, pray with, and hold the one who is about to breathe their last breath. He said he never recalled a man, in his final moments of life, mustering just enough energy to speak his final words who then asked for his.....golf clubs to hold, key to the bass boat, or the many framed diplomas and service awards. They want what maters most, the people they love,family.
On the drive home tonight I asked Jacob what his most favorite thing about the weekend was, he said, “When we sat out fishing last night after everyone else went to bed”.....that makes it worth it.
So, I encourage you dads, push aside some time to go wipe some noses, knees or bottoms. Take a trip to the ballpark, lake, or hiking trail and enjoy your family... and whatever you do, don’t blink.