My youngest daughter loves for me to attend her soccer practices. I think she genuinely feels connected with me enjoys the daddy-daughter bonding. Of course I love every minute of it too. Her first words after I let her know that she has practice on a given day are inevitably, “are you taking me?” Just the thought of her asking for me to take her warms my heart.
I do have a professional career though too, and some times there are conflicts that push up to the point where I may not be able to take her. In the event this happens, I still make every effort to at least attend a portion of the practice.
The other day was one of those days.
I had various meetings and responsibilities at work that had me teetering between making it and having no chance. Anyone living in the DC metro area understands that even 5 minutes can make a huge difference in your commute.
My daughter’s practice was from 5-6:30pm. I didn’t end up leaving work until just after 5. I was going to be cutting it close if I wanted to catch any of the practice. My trip was sure to be full of traffic too since I’d be taking some of the most congested routes in the area. There are two numbers and a word that can send chills down drivers around DC.
28, 66, and the Beltway.
I slowly trudged away keeping my eye on the arrival time on my GPS. All universal laws of time and physics obviously did not apply since as I moved closer to the target, time taunted me and remained eerily constant. It soon became apparent that I was going to arrive close to the end of practice, or maybe even after it was over.
It’s only practice though, right?
So, what do you do? Do you take the next turn and just head home since you’re destined to be late or miss the entire practice?
You push forward and honor your word. You said you’d be at practice and come Hell or high water you’re going to get to practice. Maybe this is just another form of my stubbornness, but when I say I’m going to be somewhere for my kids, I get there
I was even prepared to make the call to my wife to tell her even if practice is over, she needed to wait with my daughter in the parking lot until I got there.
I. would. not. be. denied.
When I finally arrived and walked up to the field, at 6:25pm, her smile made it all worth it. Rushing out of the building checking my watch, maniacally switching lanes, strategically analyzing alternate routes, and generally trying to stay sane was all worth it in that instance.
I had honored my word. I had done what I said I would do.
Honor your commitments to your kids. Don’t let them down. Even the little things, like practice, mean a lot. It may seem minor to you, but to them it’s much bigger. This is something they enjoy and they want to enjoy it with the people they love. They want their mom and dad there to see how they did. At the end of the day, it’s just another way to show them you love them and will always be there for them – especially when you say you will.
What are some of the crazy things you’ve done in the past for your kids, all in order to honor your word? How much value do you put on honoring your commitments? What do you think this tells our kids?