I was scheduled to be in Ireland for several days of meetings last week. I packed, kissed the family goodbye, tossed my bags in the trunk, and headed to Denver – alone. While I enjoy traveling and working with our partners around the world, I sure miss my family. Upon arriving at the Denver International Airport, I was in for a surprise. The United Airlines representative informed me that my flight was delayed.
Translation: I’d miss my connection to London and, in turn, wouldn’t make it to Ireland in time for several key meetings. I chose to cancel the trip which allowed me to take an unexpected four days off with the family. I knew the boys would be thrilled that daddy would not only take them to school but pick them up too! Here’s the run down of our adventures last week . . .
I return from DIA after the flight was cancelled. The boys were so thrilled they couldn’t stop hugging me. We got down to some serious fun right away, playing kick ball and hide and seek in the basement. They loved having dad home. Trent said, “My prayer was answered! I wanted your trip to be cancelled.”
I decided to take the kids for most of the week. Off to school we went with smiles plastered on their faces. Dad was home! I had to handle several calls during the day, so I scored only a “C” for the day.
Off to school for Trent. Troy and I had quite a day. After dropping off Trent for classes, Troy and I went to his music class. I was totally lost. At one point, he asked me where the key of G was on the piano. I whispered, “I don’t know.” He started laughing and so did I. It was one of those uncontrollable jiggle kind of laughs for both of us. It was great. None of the parents or students knew why we were having such a good time. I wanted to show him it was okay not to know the answer, but to roll with the moment.
Okay, Trent was not in on the fun so I kept him out of school. We had a blast. We went rock climbing at Garden of the Gods. This natural wonder features red rocks that jut skyward more than 300′ in some places. Talk about a beautiful display of God’s creation. As we drove in, Trent said to me, “I don’t like the name Garden of the Gods. There is only one God, not lot’s of gods.”
Wow! I thought he really understands. Then Troy said, “Ya, I don’t like the name of this place, it’s not gods! It should be just God.” Now, for the record these are not always the most angelic little kids. They can throw a punch at each other, or demonstrate their frustration with mom and dad in inappropriate ways. But in that moment I was especially proud of them. They got it.
After several hours of hiking and climbing to their hearts content, we went to a pottery paint place where you select an unfinished piece of pottery and paint it. This was a first for us so, naturally, the boys were excited. Troy selected a bunny with great detail. Trent selected a dragon and I picked a light house. We sat and painted for an hour or so. We laughed and told silly knock knock jokes while pretending to be artists.
With our freshly painted figurines completed, we headed to McDonald’s for a late lunch and some serious play time on the indoor equipment. Given it was about 25 degrees in Colorado Springs that day, I was thankful for somewhere the kids could work off some of their endless energy.
Somewhere in the mix of this, I asked Trent, “What is the deepest question you have about life?” I know, he’s only seven, but I like to stir his thinking. He thought for a minute or two and responded, “I would like to know how many cookies I could eat in five minutes.” I said, “Trent, you must have a deeper question than that, like ‘Why am I on earth?’ or ‘Why was I born?'”
He said, “That’s easy, God put me here. I really want to know how many cookies I can eat in five minutes!” I thought, faith like a child.
What a great adventure to take a few days to be with Jean and the boys. I think Jean really liked the time to get her to do list accomplished and I loved the time with the boys. In the end, cancelling the trip was the best decision I could have made. Sorry United Airlines, but thanks for the refund – and these priceless memories.