Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kids

I love my kids.  They lighten up my life and remind me to look at things in another light.  Don't get me wrong though, they're still kids.  They get on each others nerves and argue, fight and disobey.  There are still those evenings when we finally get the kids settled down in bed and we wonder, "What craziness took over our kids today?"  Then there are the times when they come up with those priceless one liners that leave you shaking your head and trying not to cry from the internal explosion that happened as a result of holding in your laughter.  Their total faith and trust in us as their parents is a challenge to me and my faith in God.

We live about a 7 1/2 to 8 hour drive away from my parents.  We have found through life experience that if we leave home at an obscenely early hour our kids do much better on the road than if we end up traveling into the late afternoon and evening.   If they are tired in the morning, they sleep or just slip into that semi-comatose state of tiredness without actually sleeping (but they are quiet).  If they are tired in the afternoons they tend to argue with each other, bug each other, pound on each other, and generally make life as bad as possible for each other as we scream down the road (literally).  It's hard for their mother to take any kind of effective policing action from the front seat, although it can be done.  One such morning last year we were headed north out of Three Hills, Alberta where we live as we began our trip to Mom and Dad's place.  We were about 15 minutes down the road when the inevitable question came.  "When will we get to Grandpa and Grandma's place?"  It was that time of year when there is about 8 hours of daylight, and so I responded, "We'll get to Grandma and Grandpa's place just when it starts to get dark, just before supper (We hadn't gotten off to as early of a start as we had been hoping for).  Then from the back, my 5 year old daughter pipes up and says, "We'll get there by lunch if Daddy drives like a MANIAC!"

Kerwump!  The sound of my inner organs imploding as I held in my laughter.  I also heard a muffled thump from the passenger side of the van, and I glanced over at my wife to see a tear trickling down her cheek from the pain of recently liquefying her kidney as she too held in her laughter.  "Maniac"?  Where in the world did that come from?  I didn't even know that she knew that word, let alone what it meant.  I love my kids.

We're currently staying at my parents place for several days as we meet with our friends and acquaintances to share our vision of reaching out and sharing God's love through aviation.  Because our evenings have been consistently filled with these visits, I have been taking some afternoon time to spend with the kids.   They love it here.  Grandpa has things to play with and stuff to do that we can't do back at home.  One of these things is his 6x6 Polaris ATV.  All 6 wheels drive, and even in the knee deep snow it charges on through without slowing down too much.  Dad got rid of his old snowmobile a couple of years ago so I figured it was worth a try to pull the kids around on their sled behind it.  About a half mile north of Mom and Dad's place is a coulee that is great for sledding and general merrymaking (they live out of town).  I pulled the kids across the field and down one side, and up the other.  I turned around to come back down the hill on the other side and started slowly back down the hill.  

For those of you who have never experienced such a thing, when you pull sleds down a hill you have to start off slowly and then accelerate as you go down the hill.  If you don't, the accelerating sled will smack into the back of the machine (sleds don't have brakes).  Ideally you match the acceleration of the sleds so that they don't go any faster than they have to.  I got to the bottom of the hill and looked back.  All I could see was my youngest daughter, seeming to stand on her shoulders (her head was nowhere to be seen) with her feet sticking straight up in the air.  I stopped and hopped off to go be of assistance, and as I reached her she had just extracted her head from the snow and was deciding if it hurt or if it was funny.  A few tears could be seen making an appearance, so I seized the opportunity and made a preemptive strike, "Wow!  That was the best wipe-out that we've had yet!  That was awesome!"  I could see her mind processing my comments, and all of a sudden there was reason to be excited.  The tears were blinked away as I wiped her face clean of snow and then there was excited laughter and shouts of "Wow!  Did you see that!"  as she ran to go and climb back on her sled.  I love my kids.

I know that our schedule is tough for the kids, but they have been troopers so far.  Every time we go to a strangers house they are asked to play with kids who they don't know and enjoy it while staying out of Mom and Dad's hair as they visit with their friends.  They've gotten very good at it already.  God has blessed us with our three children, and even though there is some trepidation on their part as we move towards a foreign land they continue to amaze us and support us in their way.  I can't imagine my life without them.  I love you, my kiddos.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dallas, that was great. Good to hear that you are having a good time. Will keep you in our prayers. It will be good to see you when you get home.

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