Saturday, April 25, 2015

Who Cares? You Do.

Because Mathieu is in school in Mississippi, he doesn't get home every weekend. But this weekend he snagged a flight and flew home this morning. Everley went with me to pick him up, and insisted that he sit in the back with her. To say she was thrilled to see him is an understatement, to say the least.

I guess that's the thing about dads - most of the time they are the best thing in the world to a child. Sure, if dad's in charge of packing for the kids for a trip, he'll probably send them to their room with a suitcase. And be nonplussed when, upon arriving at the vacation, the child opens the suitcase and finds three stuffed animals, 6948 legos, a swimsuit that was too small last year, a princess dress, a pair of pants that has never matched anything, and three dirty socks.

It's not that dads don't care - they just care differently. When a mom packs for a vacation, she packs enough clothes for each day, plus two spare sets of clothes, plus checks the forecast to see if raingear is needed, plus packs any and all medications that might be needed, plus packs a first aid kit to handle any medical emergency, and then wonders the night before leaving if she's left out anything. Moms care, too - they just care differently.

And therein lies the important lesson - children can never have enough people who care about them. In fact, they should never know a moment when they feel nobody cares about them (and they will - just ask a teenager). There should be people who care what they pack, who care if they're sick, who care if they're sad - who care, period. It doesn't matter if it's mom or dad - as long as somebody's on care patrol every moment of the day (for nightmares).

Because in the end, that's the most important lesson we can teach our children - to care about somebody else. And the best way we can teach them is by example - to care as much as we can every moment that we can. It's a lesson that can be taught, but is best learned as it goes from our hearts to theirs.
Today is a gift because: Everley's joy when picking up Mathieu at the airport; brunch with Lynnette, Lindley, and Molly at Puffy Muffin; Steve's "closest to the pin" prize at his golf outing; Steve's burgers on the grill for dinner

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