For a long time I've wanted to take one of the kids out by themselves to let them know, in a one on one kind of way how special, unique, and fun I find each one to be. The opportunity came from an unexpected invitation from the school.
"Your child needs his 11 year old immunizations done, and will not be allowed back at school until it is!" (as I said, unexpected, but pleasant invitation.)
They allowed me some time, and I bought all I could. With that time I … worked; paid bills, did house cleaning, practiced the guitar … and even remembered to call and set up an appointment. It wasn't easy but they were nice, and it only took about a week or so to be seen.
There's something about alone time with one of your children. you see a side of them that isn't often on display, and have a chance to talk to that side of him he otherwise wouldn't show. It feels impactful and makes me grateful I grew up with a chance to do that with my Father.
For example, after showing him the art in the waiting area he pointed out that each picture represented a 'scene in history… except that last one, that must be the future… and right now it's only cotton.' (rural town medical center) Then he laughed and said "Is that scene where they're eating with the Indians right before they killed them or right before they sent them away?" His joke indicated his disapproval with some elements of American History…. it totally caught me off guard.
After a quick shot … or two and (he was the bravest of all little boys, didn't whimper, just complained afterwards…. which he may have gotten from me.) it was all done.
Later in our nightly time alone I asked, as I always do "What was your favorite part of today?" his eyes glowed, he smiled, and said "Spending time with you!!!" I said "But you got a shot!" and he said "But you were there, so it wasn't so bad."
Which is the kind of thing that melts a Father's heart and makes me think sometimes I must do things right.