I wrote the other day about valuing the beautiful no during Lent. Yesterday morning I received numerous, repeated no's from my son: No, Dad, I'm not going to church. This went on for about a half hour. I gave him the two minute warning: Get dressed; we're going as a family. I respect your desire not to go, but you have no choice. If you've not yet had moments like that with your children, I believe you will, just wait. If you reply with a beautiful no that your kids just don't do that kinda stuff, then I bow before you, o great parenter of spiritual champions, and beg that you pray for the rest of us mere mortals. That last sentence is dripping, I tell you the truth dripping with sarcasm.
Back at the ranch, following church, he came in my bedroom: Dad, I'm sorry I was in a funk this morning. I just was. I gave him a hug, brushed his mane back from his eyes: We all get funky sometimes, white boy.
Later that afternoon, I told him I was going for a run and asked if he wanted to ride along on his bike. A beautiful yes. As we donned our wicking clothing and such, he said Dad, you should get some longer shorts; I can see too much of your legs. Obviously the grand sweep of my quadriceps was overwhelming to him. What, my muscles too big for you, white boy? My son chuckled, I tell you the truth chuckled in my face: Yeah, I'm really envious, Dad. I was self-conscious the entire run.
He rode ahead of me, stayed where I could see him. I huffed along behind on bird-legs, praying for him each step of the trail. I prayed for him, for his mom and sisters, for his girlfriend, for him again, shucks, even prayed for me; it got quite rhythmic. He only had to stop a couple of times, such was the distance between us. Thanks for stopping for the old man. He would just grin: sure.
The evening concluded with my twelve year old white boy in my lap, I tell you the truth my lap watching The Amazing Race. I made some editorial comments along the way, as only a skinny-legged man can truly do, and he laughed aloud. Inside, I felt the beautiful yes. One of the male contestants in the race so amazing was crying, having made some poor decisions. I spoke to the screen: Hey, get a Kleenex and some backbone, and get back in the race. More laughter from this boy-man in my lap.
And I thought yep, we all make poor decisions, get funky on ourselves and those around us; even get teary. It's best to wipe our eyes, ask for forgiveness, and cowboy up 'cause the race is still on. And we're not finished yet.
I may possibly look into purchasing some longer shorts as it looks like I've still got a lot of running ahead of me. The beautiful maybe.