Well … it has been a few days since I last wrote … oh well: real life is more important than a blog of random thoughts in cyberspace!
My 3 boys: Kyle, Aaron and Liam fondly call some time with me, “daddy day”. Normally this special day falls on a Monday evening … but this weekend, I had the privilege of having a full weekend with “my three sons”. Le-Anne was away at a women’s retreat at MBC with 60 others from my home church of Lakeside … and wow, did the boys and I (while missing Le-Anne) ever have a great time!
Friday evening started with an early supper after which we rushed off to Kyle and Aaron’s baseball games with Liam in tow (a new sport the boys thought they would like to try this year). I dropped off Kyle and drinks for the team at one end of town for a double header set of games and then took back roads to “the Italian Ward” district of Guelph for Aaron’s game. I must admit, I really love the atmosphere of a baseball game. The parents seem to be more relaxed and less competitive … it was a warm summer like evening … life felt good. I tossed a ball around with Liam in between innings. A highlight for me was watching Aaron play “bat-catcher” for the first time all rigged up like a knight in armor. At his level (age 8), they use a pitching machine, and wow – the ball shoots out of that thing at quite a speed! Aaron at one point got pegged with the ball off the face mask which pretty much knocked him off his feet … later he said ” it was really freaky dad” with a big toothy grin … “I can’t wait to do it again!” After Aaron’s game, we rushed back to catch Kyle’s 2nd game in which he hit his first double of the season. We got home at 10:30 p.m. … far too late for poor 5 year old Liam … but good and ready for a good night’s sleep!
Saturday morning started with a sleep in and then a pancake breakfast (Grandma Dick’s recipe) as we talked about what each boy wanted to do for the weekend. Cycling (plan A) was put off for another weekend due to some baseball “injuries” Kyle had sustained from a stray bat or ball … so we decided to go with Liam’s first choice of making swords and guns with a jig saw and scrap pieces of wood. It’s really amazing how little it takes to entertain 3 (ok 4!) boys … especially when you add some power tools into the equation. Soon Kyle (black spray paint in hand) began detailing the new “weapons” …
Later in the afternoon, our neighbour Tom and his family joined us for a quick outdoor excursion to a beautiful spot on the Speed River which runs through Guelph. While Tom and I fished for pike (or anything moving!), the kids swam and rode small logs down a small section of rapids they had scrounged from the river’s edge. Tom found a couple of large snails upstream which thrilled our “nature boy” Aaron who took one home and put it in his Turtle tank … “they eat algae, you know dad”, he said to me. Later on that evening as we reminisced about the great day, I asked the boys if they would like to join me the next morning for a booking in Owen Sound at Calvary Evangelical Missionary Church. Our original plan was for the boys to remain in Guelph but I thought I’d bounce the idea of going to Sauble Beach together after the morning church service. They were excited about the change of plans …
Early the next morning (6:10 a.m. to be exact) I got the boys up, we gulped down some breakfast and quickly packed my music gear and our beach stuff. We were off by 7 a.m. armed with the portable DVD player and “National Treasure II – Book of Secrets” (a great family movie!) The boys were as good as gold as we traveled the 2 hours up to Owen Sound. A beautiful drive … I was admiring the infinite shades of green of the spring trees and farm fields in clear early morning sunlight … heart overflowing with praise to the Master Artist who created such beauty for us to enjoy. The service went really well. I was the guest music artist and speaker for the Compassion Canada event. I really felt the Spirit of God in that place in a profound way – orchestrating every detail of the service. Pastor Mary Turner leads a wonderful, warm, caring congregation. Between 15 and 20 children were sponsored from an audience of 150 so this was an excellent response. We quickly packed up after the service with the help of my young “road crew”, went out for lunch with Jessica and Jeremy from Compassion Canada and then were on our way to Sauble Beach to soak in the rays.
At the beach we set up where a little stream winds its way to the lake’s edge. We spent lots of time damming the stream, diverting it, building a bridge over it … having a mud fight in it … you name it! As Liam and Aaron kept playing, Kyle and I had some one on one time throwing a nerf football and swimming in the freezing Lake Huron waters. As we dove under the icy water we both remarked at how we were both getting “brain freeze”, the same sensation you get when you eat ice cream too fast! As we made our way back to shore, I realized we were the only ones swimming … go figure … tricked by my 12 year old son again! … oh well – if I had poor circulation in my outer extremities, I don’t now! … Another huge highlight was “burying” Liam and Aaron with a shovel side by side in the sand with just their heads poking out … and even more hilarious to watch them as they later struggled to pull themselves out from under the sand’s heavy weight …
On the drive back to Guelph, we had the idea of playing a practical joke on my wife, Le-Anne. Minutes from home, I phoned her on our cell and told her the van was acting strange … perhaps the transmission … and we were stranded in Mount Forest. She fell for it, hook line and sinker … proceeded to tell me that she had noticed the same symptoms earlier that week that I was describing … As we were discussing our options, CAA, a hotel, or picking us up with a neighbours vehicle (we are a one car family), to Le-Anne’s squeal of surprise Kyle rang our house doorbell! The boys and I (and Le-Anne) had a huge laugh about the whole thing … a fun end to a great “daddy weekend”! Hugs and kisses all around … It SURE was good to be all together again as a family.
Liam, Aaron and Kyle trying to dam another stream last summer just outside of St. John’s, Newfoundland while on an East Coast Tour/Vacation
With “my three sons” at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia on another beautiful sunny day at the beach