I woke before the sun – hell, I alway do. Today however, I had a different agenda.
“Wake up buddy,” I said nudging my little boy awake.
“Hi dad,” he croaked as he tried to blink away the sleep, “how was your day?”
The greeting, is one of those things that just stuck. He always asks, no matter what time. It never fails to make me smile.
“Do you want to go on an adventure?” I rubbed his head, smoothing out the mass of dark blonde hair, cut into a lazy mohawk.
On hearing this he sprang up, his eyes wide, his six year old body bare save for his green lantern underwear. “Yeah, where are we going Dad? Have you seen my pants? ”
I handed him his tiny blue jeans, and with the arangement of his sweater and his hood, we set off in the pre-dawn light for our adventure.
“Hiking,” I answered. I took a long sip of my coffee, savoring the warmth. It was a chilly morning, especially since the sun had not yet made its ascent into the sky. Only the slightest hint of the color of daybreak was creeping over the mountains to the east – the pale red and orange hues of the autumn desert sunrise.
It is my favorite time of day, something I am determined to teach my boy. We waked down to the river. It was not a long hike, perhaps a mile in total. The distance was not the goal, just the time together.
I look up the cliff face by the water. It was dotted with small caves. “Look buddy,” I said pointing to them, “animals live in there.” The astonishment on his face was worth more than any price I have paid for anything.
“Is it a mountain lion cave dad?”
“Probably not buddy. Look at those tracks, ” I pointed down the shore to some small prints in the sand. “Those are raccoon tracks, see the little claws?”
Our back and forth went this way for an hour or so, we talked about being a big brother and the job of protecting his little sister, school, girls, and duck (mostly ducks) but most of all I wanted him to know how much he meant to me.
Saying that you love someone is easy, showing it isn’t always. I get caught up in my own struggle for happiness and contentment in life, and I lose track of what is important.
Finding balance is important.
My son and daughters are important.
My wife is important.
Work is work.
Please don’t forget that.
I have been given a challenge for the next week that I would like to propose to you, dear reader. For one week (the next week in fact, for me anyway) no technology. No internet, no smartphone, nada. Can I do it? I am not sure, could you? We will see what happens…