Dad wandered through the house, looking for a carpool buddy. He had to drive out to Orange county to get Q-cell from a surf shop so he could finish fixing his board. Most of us older kids had just gotten home from work or whatever errands we had been doing.
We (well, I should speak for myself....) I kinda turned away, and didn't make eye contact with him. I was tired. I didn't feel like going out again. There was 45 minutes before it was time to start dinner, and those 45 minutes were my own.. to relax, read, facebook, take a nap.. whatever it would be, fighting traffic wasn't part of the equation.
Needless to say, he didn't get a buddy. I felt so selfish and horrible all at once, dropped my laptop on my bed, mumbled a direction about dinner prep to my sister and ran out the door, slipping into my sandals on my way. He was about ready to drive away when I got to the passenger window of his truck.
If I was embellishing the story for dramatic effect, I would tell you that his face lit up, and the sadness and loneliness faded away as soon as he saw me, but that's not my dad. He's a happy guy already.. He was all prepared to listen to his iPod and fellowship with the Lord for the whole drive.
I'm not sure if my conversation was animated or interesting enough of a replacement to the iPod. That part doesn't even matter. What does matter is that I realized that I've really missed my dad! I've been going and going and going for three weeks now, and I hadn't given him more than three minutes. (And two of those three minutes were all about me, of course.)
We ended up driving all the way out to the beach, as the first surf-shop was gone, and the second one didn't have what he was looking for. There was a contest going on at the beach and the crowds were ridiculous. We had to park at least 5 blocks away, and then got to stroll main street together.
Side by side, (or sometimes single-file) I was savoring the moment. I'm so thankful that I have a dad that I can truly look up to, in more ways than one. (He's over six feet tall) A dad who I can laugh with, make jokes with, trust with my life, or my secrets, and most definitely my heart. A dad who is what he says he is. There's no shadow of hypocrisy in my dad. What you see is what you get. He never laughs at me, or judges me. He also never smoothed things over for me.
Funny thing. I never felt like my split second decision was an act of self-lessness. Martyrs end up suffering for what they choose. I ended up so blessed and encouraged and thankful. I mean, really... 4 hours of one-on-one with Dad? Unless I had a guilty conscience, it would be a dream come true for a girl with 13 siblings.
I wonder how many other opportunities I miss because I think there's something else I'd rather do?