As a dad, anytime we take a family trip, I take it as my responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. I also know that it falls on the dad to make sure everyone is having fun on the family trips.
This past Tuesday was a tough day to be a dad.
We left out early Tuesday morning to hide out for 4 days in the mountains of Sipipu, New Mexico with all of my family. Things were going fine until the suburban broke down about an hour from our destination. It was at that point everything unraveled at the seems. We spent 4 hours sitting outside the car repair shop being told, “We’ll get you going soon. Don’t give up on us getting you out of here today.”
The boys quickly began to say things like, “How much longer?” “Are they nearly done?” “Are we going to get to eat today?” and “I’m bored!” I really had no answers for the questions. Nothing was going as planned and our day had been shot. Helpless to do anything, I honestly felt like I’d let my whole crew down.
The shop finally told us they couldn’t get the part, and it’d be two days (and a hefty price) before the car was ready. We called my brother, who was already in Sipipu, and he came and picked us up. Somehow we piled everything from our big suburban into his little mini-van. When we arrived at the lodge, we were hours late, exhausted and hungry. Nothing sounded better than eating something and going to bed. The only problem with that was the cabin they gave us didn’t have enough beds. After I woke the very unhappy night manager, we searched until we found a mattress to put on the floor.
Exhausted, hungry and just before midnight we ate a bowl of chicken soup and talked about our day. Just before going to sleep, one of the boys made the comment, “This was one of the worst days ever.” But it really wasn’t. As we continued to talk, we realized it was just a day of inconveniences. We really hadn’t had a bad day. I reminded them that even though we had car trouble, we still had a car. “Only 1 in 5 people in this world owns a car and we’ve got 2,” I said. That makes us pretty lucky. Then we began to count our blessings, “And,” I said, “we only had car trouble, no one was hurt in a wreck.” Someone added, “We’re still going to get to have a vacation, and a lot of people don’t get to do that.” Someone else added, “We’re sleeping in a cabin tonight and not outside on the ground.” “We had supper and that’s more than many people got tonight.” “And, we still have family!” Our attitudes kind of changed as we began to put things into perspective. Although we were tired, we realized we were still very blessed.
Before we could even get the lights out, all the boys were asleep. It had been a really long day that we wouldn’t soon forget.
My dad skills had really been put to the test and had failed me in a lot of areas. Nothing had run smoothly that day, we hadn’t had much fun, and I hadn’t been as patient as I should have been. Sometimes being a dad is tough, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”
1 Thessalonians 5:26-18