How many times have you wished you could spend some time with some one you love so much and always come up with some excuse not to. I recently did that with my youngest son, when I was offered two tickets to the Laughfest in Downtown Grand Rapids, Mi. The Person who offered me the tickets was the LOOP Director (an after school program) at his school and I at first told him that I couldn’t go because my brother-in-law had had a heart attack and I needed to stay home in case something happened to him and my wife was needed down at the hospital. The fact that he had the heart attack and might have to come to our house and stay for a few days and rest and I would be needed to help him. I also gave him a couple of more reasons, probably because I was worried and had no Faith in Christ, That my day was going to be nothing but apologies to my son, because I would end up in the hospital because I would have a seizure while I was out with him, just trying to do something that I very seldom do. I guess I wouldn’t know what he would think or how he would feel if our day was interrupted because of a seizure. I can think of 1 time where I had an attack on his Birthday and we had to celebrate his birthday the next day, but all I could do while I was at the hospital was think about, was I just messed up my sons birthday and when I got home that night all I could do is continuously apologize for messing up his birthday. Back to the story, After I got home I had told my wife that I was given a chance to take Jr to the Laugh Fest and turned it down and told her what I had told the Director and she said that was probably good, I think she was probably worried about the same things I was among other things as well. Later that night as I sat at the table alone, I started to think about all the reasons I had for not accepting the tickets and passing up an opportunity to spend with my son and realized all those reasons were nothing more than excuses. So I wrote a letter to the Director asking him if he still had the tickets I would love to have them, I needed to do more things with my son before he got to old and didn’t have the time or I was no longer able to. I wanted to get all these things out to my son before some of the versus in this next song becomes a thing of nonfiction.
So the tickets were sent home the next day and on Saturday 3-10-2012 my son and I started our day at around 9:45 heading to The Ford Field House, and although most of the games were geared towards children, it was nice to see him having fun. About 11:45 after he had done everything we had left and went to a restaurant to have some lunch. At about 12:15 we left there we walked out the door and heading to the bus stop for the trip home.When a thought came to me to ask him if he was ready to go home or if he wanted to go walking around town and see some of the murals that were painted on the various walls, Murals that weren’t there in the days when I walked these same streets, not only because I had to, also because I wanted to, he said that he would like to,not sure at that point if it was because he knew once we did get home after a couple hours rest he was going to have to start cleaning his room or if he really wanted to go, but either way he really enjoyed it so it was worth it. Well we started walking toward St. Mary’s Hospital giving him time to gather his thoughts on whether he wanted to go home or continue roaming the streets, I then told him I needed an answer so I could call home and let his mother know what was going on so she didn’t worry, by now it was 1:30 and she said are you going to be home by 2:00 I had told her no, we were going to be out spending some father and son time, walking the streets of Grand Rapids, looking at the murals, I would keep her updated and call when we got on the bus for home or if there was any situation where she needed to be contacted. We continued our journey north back toward the heart of downtown, when we reached the Veterans Memorial Park he had realized he dropped his Spinner Painting, by now we had walking at least a good 8 miles, so we had turned around and retraced our steps looking for it to no avail the wind was strong and with everything that was going on downtown someone had either picked it up or it had been blown under a car, so that was another 8 miles back the other direction looking for it.
I then asked if he was ready to go home again he said no, but would if I wanted to, I told him it was his choice he said no so I suggested going to my sisters which would have been another 6 to 7 mile walk east, he said ok I suggested call first, so we called and found out she was in Newago at my fathers so I got my brothers number and found out he was at our uncle Butches so we walked over there, which was 6 to 7 miles west, by now Jr is complaining his feet is sore, I said that you don’t know the word walk then he said I walk to school, I said school is a half mile from the house, I said we could go home, he said no, we get to my uncles by now it is 3 PM and after I have been asked by 3 people how I got over there I told them I walked, after a few minutes of rest, I asked my son if he wanted to walk to Union High, he quickly replied ok, in the meantime my brother is looking at me with his mouth wide open because he knows that Union High is at least 15 miles minimum north west from where we were, So he quick opened his mouth and said Union High are you nuts, I replied apparently you don’t know me the way you think you do. Now I don’t know if it is the fact that he didn’t know that I used to walk long distances, or because of my age that I could still do it.
Now I am not saying that everyone needs to do this in order to spend some time with their child but, just think a few minutes out of your schedule isn’t going to hurt and all the reasons you can come up with are nothing more than excuses, the biggest answer I have heard alot parents say is I will do it tomorrow, and I have seen it tomorrow comes and goes, and I have experienced situations where a parent has told there child that they would do something tomorrow and later that night that child or the parent was killed. Now if the child was killed, the parent felt anguished because he didn’t take the time to spend with his child and now he can’t turn back the hands of time to change his attitude, and in return if it were the Parent who was killed or maybe even just for some reason left, maybe work called him away early that morning and he wouldn’t be home for a couple of days, the next morning the parent makes plans to go do something else with friends, what ever the case maybe the child would be hurt, mad, many words could describe the feelings of a child that had not been able to do what had been planned for them. That child would be asking why was I lied to, what did I do wrong for him/her to say that and then not do it. And over time if these actions continue where plans are continuously being broke, that child gets to the point where he/she no longer trusts the parent. Once a parent messes up so bad that a child can no longer trust him/her it is not as serious as if the child messes up. Sure the trust is broke and it takes time to regain, but a parent is supposed to be a roll model and the child is supposed to learn from the parent, therefore if the parent can’t teach honesty how is the child supposed to, and there lies the cycle, they grow up to teach their children what they were taught. I have heard these excuse more from fathers than mothers(I myself am one of those fathers) but that doesn’t exclude mothers there are mothers that have done that as well. Sure there are the responsibilities of work and the home life and maybe other children at home or a loved one who is sick, but you can always find time to sit down and do something with them, you don’t have to leave your home to spend time with your child(ren). When they are sick let them know you are there to take care of them, when they need help with homework help them if you can’t get someone who can. They not only need they help from there parents to get their education but also they need their parents to be parents to show that they can be there to give them guidance and playtime as well.