The puffy white clouds on my descent into Memphis reassured me that I was finally slowing down. I had been on the road for twelve days. My journey had taken me to Denver, Cheyenne, Nashville, Daytona Beach, and now Memphis. As I recounted the past week and a half, I suddenly realized that I had not properly pondered the week’s events. I had conducted a weekend seminar series on how to minimize conflict, then promptly had the most chaotic and conflicted week I’d had in years.
My wife and I took a couple days respite with close friends after the seminars were over then flew from Denver back to Nashville. Once we arrived back in Tennessee with the help of another set of dear friends, we immediately began the process of cooking for our youngest son’s wedding reception. Add to this chore; securing a moving truck, loading up our son and fiance’s furniture, marrying them, cleaning up from the reception that had over 120 persons in attendance, returning family to the airport, then promptly driving to Daytona Beach, Florida to unload the moving truck and flying home all in five days. I can assume from all the books I’ve read on parenting, these tasks would have been in the 31st printing of said book. Of course our hectic duties would have no doubt been written as an addendum.
Isn’t it amazing what we do for our children sometimes? As the miles went by, I rarely listened to the radio. I was lost in thought on how fast time had gotten by me. My youngest child, the one that would forever be a little boy to me, and be known as my “little buddy” had gotten married. Gone were the skinned knees and chubby scraped little arms he was known for as a child. The little boy had suddenly transformed before my eyes into a rugged and handsome man. Despite the adversity of him blending a job, wedding preparations, and moving, all with short notice, he had made me proud with his resolve.
Now standing in his new living room, the moving truck now empty, I had a catch in my throat. I was about to leave him. But this time it was different; he was not alone. My son was now in the care of a vivacious and beautiful young wife who clung to him just like a newlywed should. Now when he needed someone to watch his back, I’d have to share that duty with someone else who filled a void I never could. Before I left, I offered them both one piece of advice. Always talk to each other with loving kindness and respect and only yell at each other if the house is on fire. “If you do this”, I said, “you will be happy into forever.”
I’m home now and I think about them every day. I imagine them putting their little home together, laughing at their new found freedom, and praying for them daily through any hardships they might encounter. I spent 23 years training my son to be a compassionate Christian husband. By observing the way he talks to her and adores her, my heart has peace, he was listening.