I've always believed if you blow it at home, you have really blown it! I had a great example growing up and I hope to be that same example myself. I remember that my Dad had a schedule taped to the side of one of his filing cabinets at his office. At 4:00 pm the schedule said, "go home and play catch with the boys". I know my Dad was a really busy guy, but he always found a way to play catch in the backyard or basketball in the driveway. So I have also tried to establish certain rhythms to my life that make sure that I am intentional about building relationships with my family.
This morning I went out for coffee with Amy. I love that. We started doing this when she was in kindergarten - back then we would go to Einstein Bagels before I would drop her off for school. Now, we are in a routine where on Friday mornings we leave a little early and go to Caribou Coffee. It was kind of fun this morning the girl who waited on us knew exactly what we wanted before we ordered it. That was a good sign that we are pretty regular in our trips to Caribou. We talk about school, friends, my stuff, her stuff, music and spiritual things. She is only a sophomore, but I started thinking about how many more trips we have before she graduates. That makes me sad. It's amazing how much you can love a kid!
Yesterday, I went out for lunch with my Mom. She has probably had a greater influence in my life than anyone. She is quite simply amazing. She has this rare ability to make everyone around her feel really good about themselves. The one phrase I most associate with her in my growing up years was "you can do it." Imagine growing up hearing that over and over. Pretty soon you start to believe it. Even though she lives nearby and we get together for family gatherings, I seldom get to talk with her all alone. So, I set up an lunch appointment with my Mom. I think this is another rhythm I'd like to keep. I know that she wrote her Mom a letter every week til my Grandmother passed away.
My boys, Josh & Caleb - that is easy. Sports seems to be the common denominator. I have been their baseball coach, basketball coach and football coach. We spend Sunday afternoons rooting for the Bears and many evenings cheering for the White Sox or Bulls. Every other night I say prayers and talk with them in bed (Sue gets the other night). Usually our talking escalates to wrestling and their Mom yelling up the steps, "do you guys know what time it is?" Without responding they settle down. I sure do love those guys!
Sue, my best friend - we do pretty good about regular dates nights (but writing this book has kind of got in the way...ugh!). But another rhythm has been an anniversary getaway. Normally, it is to Chicago for a couple nights...but this year it is Hawaii!! So on Monday (our anniversary!) we will be leaving to do a little island hopping. She is the best Mom I know and the most loyal friend a husband could have. What is great about Sue is that she works hard to make our dates a routine too.
It is more than not blowing it with my family. What I am really trying to do is make the most of every moment. They are an amazing group of people and I thank God almost everyday that he put us together.