On Friday, May 27, 2011, I was walking hand-in-hand with my 9 year old son, Ever. Emersen and Cara were walking by my side, as well. We playfully scooted across the parking lot of the Old Spaghetti Factory. A few minutes earlier, I had dropped my wife off at the curb in order to get us a table. As my children and I made our way to the foot of the stairs, I turned to Ever and said, “I love these kinds of days when we can just enjoy each other and look forward to lots of fun; not a care in the world. What do you think?” Ever said with a grin as wide as Cheshire Cat, “Yah, I’m having lots of fun, Daddy. I love these kinds of days too.” My heart swelled with so much love that I could hardly contain myself. All I could do was quietly grin from ear-to-ear as we climbed the stairs together; four Cheshire Cats.
Here in the U.S., our school district scheduled time off in honor of the Memorial Day weekend. My wife planned ahead by taking the day off on Friday, so that my wife and I could Celebrate our 11th Wedding Anniversary with our children. First order of business: sleep in! We rarely sleep in. What a treat! Second activity planned for the day was to enjoy the newly released animated film: Kung Fu Panda 2! Baby Po was A D O R A B L E! Movie theater popcorn was definitely not going to cut it for sustenance, but thanks for the coupons Anne Marie; Perfect Timing because we definitely used those coupons! So, The Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch it was! We were hoping to be seated within the train car, but it wasn’t our time to do so. Though a little disappointed, a small wish not coming true was but a fleeting thought passing as quickly as it came and we were seated at a round table, moving on, looking forward to something yummy in our tummies. We soon said Grace and gave thanks for the meal we were about to enjoy, my wife leading our prayers.
Throughout our wonderful, carefree time as a family, my wife made it a point to stay off of the computer. I did the same. This was one of those sacred family times. My children played piano. We prayed and enjoyed dinner together. We played Monopoly as a family; Cara, my youngest, undefeated, and loving it! Beats me how she does that! Our carefree time paused at nearly midnight when it was time for dreamland; pausing only until the next time that we can continue where we left off, whenever that may be.
My wife is so patient. She stays in my home office just to be
with me. My deadlines have kept me up for all hours, days blending into nights and nights blending into days. Sometimes, I have to ask my wife what day it is because I honestly lose track. I thought I was done with all-nighters after graduating from the University, but people are relying on me and I do what must be done. In addition to my wife’s already overwhelming responsibilities, she has recently accepted newly appointed leadership roles. She’s stepping up to the plate because people need her to do so. Neither of us hesitates doing what must be done. That’s why these precious days serve as inspiration when times get tough.
Unfortunately, for many, people work to live. Lives are dictated by financial responsibilities and pleasure is a luxury that many can’t afford. I aspire to balance my life when the reality is that the balance is always tipping in one direction or another. My wife and my children are constantly waiting for quality time to spend with me. I’m always pained when I have to say, “I can’t right now, I have work that I have to finish.” They continue to wait patiently for me and I do everything I can to free my time for them. I take breaks here and there, but it’s never enough.
In the wee hours of the morning, I write these blogs, when everyone else sleeps. Though my wife would rather have me by her side as soon as I can be there, I take these opportunities to let her know how much I love her, our children, and our life together. So, my love, Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary … You Decorated My Life and you continue to do so …
"You Decorated My Life" is a 1979 hit single by Kenny Rogers from his album Kenny. It was a number-one hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.