Where This Meets That
Last weekend began with two of my kids, Maddie and Caleb, bringing home “straight A” report cards, and it just got better from there.
When you’re blessed with five kids, it can be tough to break away for quality individual time with each of them. Last weekend, I was fortunate to have two such opportunities.
Bowling with Maddie
On Saturday, I took Maddie bowling with area Girl Scouts. Surprisingly, none of the girls from her troop were there, so I had the wonderful pleasure of sharing the lane with just her.
In two hours, we bowled five games. She did wonderful, bowling a high score of 90. I peaked at 126, but my personal high point came after my right shoulder surrendered in the final frame of game four, forcing me to go lefty for our final game: I bowled two strikes and broke 100 . . . left-handed!
We also enjoyed a spectacular game of Air Hockey, but I think we missed the point of the game; we ended in a 5-5 tie but had each scored practically every point against ourselves! We were each truly the other’s best player!
I had a great time, and I’m so thrilled and honored that, at eleven years old, my daughter still wants to connect with me. I know the days are rapidly approaching when she’ll want to distance herself from her “old man,” so I cherish moments like these with all my heart.
Downtown with Mr. C!
On Sunday, Caleb and I headed downtown to the Atlanta International Auto Show. If you’ve been to the Crossroads or have visited Caleb’s blog, you might know that Caleb has become quite a car buff over the past year, so he was thrilled when I told him we were going. My parents once took me when I was a boy, so I knew he would love it, as I did.
He was foremost astounded by the size of the 3.9-million square foot Georgia World Congress Center. He couldn’t believe how far we could walk and still be in the same building. Then, finally, came the cars.
Right away, he identified a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner “Superbird”. I’d recently pointed one out to him on the road near our home, and he apparently burned its image in his mind. He loved studying this one up close and laughed at the Road Runner’s image on its spoiler.
He was blown away by the sprawling exhibit of cars, from Chevrolet to Lexus to Mini and Mercedes and virtually drooled at the prospect of climbing into some of his favorites. He boarded a Mustang Cobra, a couple VW Beetles and Mini Coopers, a Wrangler, an Audi TT, and a convertible Corvette and Camaro.
He also delighted in seeing some cars that were new to him, like the beautiful Lexus LFA and the Fisker line, though he wasn’t permitted to even breathe on either of these.
His emotional zenith, though, came at the end, in the form of a shiny, green Dodge Viper. He couldn’t take his eyes off this one and begged to touch it. Alas, the boundary straps were set beyond a 7-year old boy’s desperate reach, so he had to be satisfied to let his vision do the touching.
His one disappointment was that there weren’t more exotic cars there. No Maseratis (his current favorite), Lamborghinis, Ferraris, or the like. But to mark the memory, I did buy him a die-cast scale Maserati model that he held in his hands for the remainder of our day together.
Caleb is also fascinated by architecture and loves designing structures on Minecraft. After leaving the auto show, we strolled a mile down the road to the Westin Peachtree Plaza. At 73-floors, the Peachtree Plaza is Atlanta’s tallest hotel, and its glass cylindrical shape has made it an icon along the city’s skyline since the mid-1970’s.
Climbing the building’s side is a glassed-in elevator system that allows riders to watch the city fall below during their ascent to the revolving Sundial Restaurant at the top. I didn’t let Caleb know what was coming, and the look on his face as we rose so high above Atlanta was priceless.
From the Sundial, he gained a new perspective on the city. He saw the Georgia Dome from above, after having just been dwarfed at its base an hour before. He remained dazzled at the size of the Congress Center we had just toured; it’s still huge from over 700-feet up and a mile away!
We seated at a table, and he enjoyed a non-alcoholic Mudslide that we later quipped was “73-stories high!” His eyes volleyed between the view outside and the miniature Maserati in his hands. I basked in the moment, my eyes fixed on him. He soon broke the pleasant silence to tell me, “Gee, thanks for taking me to the Auto Show, Dad, that was really cool.”
Highlight of the day for me, right there. Nobody had to prod him to give thanks; it was all him, all genuine.
But the day wasn’t done. After we’d made our way back to the car and got on the road homeward, we stopped at a red light. Caleb started to say something else about the Maserati in his hands, and I did a double-take, left. Parked along the curb directly beside us was, of all things, a Maserati!
I stumbled over my words, trying to get Caleb’s attention and fumbled at my iPhone for a picture. When Caleb finally snapped to, his vocabulary was reduced to three words for the next five minutes: “OH MY GOSH!” was all he could say, over and over.
“You know, Caleb,” I said as we eventually hit the highway, “those are just the funny little moments when God gives us a little wink!” He laughed and erupted, “Oh, I know, Dad, I know!”
Perfect end to a perfect day!
I am so thankful for my family. It’s not always pretty, and it’s certainly not always easy, but it’s certainly worth everything and more!