Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One on one meetings, you never know what will be discussed

Whew what a great 3 day weekend we had. It was the weekend of Bailey and according to her FB status, at one point it was the best weekend ever! I will admit it was a pretty splendid weekend all the way around, great weather, football kickoff, friends, and fun activities. For me though, what made it great was the one on one "meetings" I had with the 4 oldest. At this point in my career I am fortunate enough to have a fair amount of folks under my oversight. For those that report directly to me, it has become more and more important to have regular one on one meetings as we've grown larger and I can't possibly meet with all of the front line staff individually with any regularity. It's during these meetings that all kinds of things get discussed from long range plans to how to deal with the day to day petty stuff that sometimes can swing the floor one way or the other. You know, the really important stuff like why our break room didn't get the standing monthly birthday cake like other break rooms, one time. It's amazing what can distract from the mission at hand.

The same can be true for our families and especially our children. Their world is so self revolving, it doesn't take much to have things perilously close to spinning off axis and into a crisis. I wish I could say I was more regular with these one on one times, but I at least try and seize the opportunity when I see it coming. This long weekend was one of those times.

It started Saturday with most of the day spent with my oldest going to the Auburn game, 2 hours down, 7 hours at Auburn, 2 hours back. You can cover a lot of topics in that amount of time, and we usually do.
Due to having yesterday off and some great weather, I picked up the schedule with number four, E. I can tell he's been wanting some Daddy time lately. 
In the morning before going to work, Daddy when you get home will you play Star Wars with me? When I get home, before closing the door behind me, same question. He's really been wanting to go bike riding but usually ask immediately after I've returned from a 30 to 40 mile ride as I'm sprawled on the floor under the ceiling fan. Needless to say, due to the timing, I have to decline. So yesterday morning he asked and I immediately said yes, to which he lit up and added, can it just be you and me and not number 5 too? So off we went, just the two of us. E loves to discuss what he will do when he grows up, so we spend a lot of time talking about his grownup dreams, like having his own house he shares with his brother, being able to drive to the playground on his own, whenever he wants, and other "dreamy" ideas. He was sufficiently worn out after what was a fairly lengthy ride for him. It never hurts to take a pit stop for ice cream in the middle though to refuel.
We made it home just in time for me to tag out with E. and grab D. for a run to the dollar movie. The place was packed! I took the opportunity in the car to discuss some school related issues and how the things we stress at home like first time obedience, respect for others, I'm 3rd, do all to the glory of God, etc... apply to school and not just home and church. It wasn't a long drive to the movies, but just enough and just about the right length for a 9 year old attention span to discuss "life". Movie was fun, we were silly and hopefully some of that serious stuff followed by some laughs will stick.  Got home, realized we had plenty of time and good weather to hit the pool for one last time before they closed for the season. So me and the 3 little pigs hit the pool one last time and we closed it down. Dutch will love being able to tell everyone, and I mean everyone, that he was THE last person to go off the diving board and swim in the pool for the season. It's always fun to be THE person at something or other I suppose, at least in the world of a 9 year old.

I realized that during all of this one on one time I hadn't yet squeezed in my 2nd oldest. This isn't something she would likely overlook either and I'm sure I'd hear about it sooner or later. Just like employees, the one person you inadvertently forget to say good morning to will come back to haunt you down the road. So I checked in the 3 youngest, said tag your it, to C. and off we went to walk to the yogurt shop.
I'm continually amazed at where our conversations go some days. Last nights ranged from general silliness to wanting to be a missionary some day. We somehow got on the topic of The Declaration of Independence, pulling it up on my phone and discussing, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and how God never promised us happiness and what this declaration means through the lens of Jesus and what He desires for/from us. I can honestly say, for a 12 year old, I was blown away with her thoughts on these things! You never know where these one on one meetings will lead, so parents, you just have to have the radars up, take the queues, and go with them when the opportunity arises. 

Now, I think I need another day off!

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