Last weekend was "my weekend." My weekend comes way too slowly and
when it finally arrives, passes way too quickly. Sometimes it's so
hard being a divorced father.
The kids and I take turns picking what we'll do on those special
weekends. This past weekend was my five- year-old daughter's turn to
pick. She loves to ice skate (not that easy to do in sunny Dallas)
I grew up in Kansas. We had plenty of ice 4-5 months of the year. I
don't remember when I learned to ice skate. I do remember how much I
loved being with my high school friends on weekend nights, ice skating
and then warming up around the fire.
All weekend long, all my daughter talked about was ice-skating. Daddy,
when are we going to go ice skating? Daddy, can we go now? Oh how I miss
the excitement of being five years old again.
Finally, Sunday came and we went to the ice skating rink at the shopping
center. Now I am sure that many of you are like me and don't enjoy the
cold or being out in the cold. After all, I live in Dallas for a reason,
to stay warm. The skating rink is so cold. They keep it that way,
something about the ice melting; I personally believe it's to help the
people freeze. I dressed in my sweats so I could stay warm (I've been to
the rink before after all) and so I added a few layers to help keep warm.
Now to a five year old, the ice is like snow. They would never consider
even worrying about staying warm until after they get cold. Consider a
coat? Never crosses their mind.
"Let's go Daddy!" she said as impatience set in. I hurried the best I could
and took her hand as we stepped on to the ice. I find, as I get older, it
takes longer for my body to adjust to new or different environments. My
brain is thinking be careful don't fall, my feet are saying wait a minute
what happened to the shoes? All this is going on in my brain and I notice
my arm is being yanked by a five year old about to fall. I muster my balance,
use all the strength I can find to keep her from falling. We stabilize
and begin skating together.
I often tell my daughter how much I enjoy her holding my hand and how
special I feel when she holds my hand. I notice she is holding on tight,
a death grip on my hand. I try to relax my grip so I don't squeeze her little
hand too tight. She looks up at me and said "Daddy, don't let go".
I tell her not to worry, I won't let go of her hand. I see the fear in her
eyes. The fear of falling and hitting the ice. I know I won't let go. I
realize how hard it will be to let go. I realize how hard it will be to
ever let her hand go.
As we skate, I think about how my faith is like holding God's hand. How in
the hard times I look to God and say don't let go. How my fear tests my faith
and the grip God has on my life and me. How I worry about falling from my
faith. How God's love tells me He'll never let go.
I realize; I understand the fear a five year old feels. We skate together,
father and daughter. I get lost in the love we share and the feeling of being
her support. Being her father and the closeness we share. Being the father
she relies on for those times she needs help, support and love.
Funny how we see it so clearly with our kids, but so totally miss it with
our Heavenly Father.
I learned a lot this past weekend. I grew closer to my kids and I grew in my
faith. I thought about how in a few years I will drop her off at the mall with
her friends or the day she starts driving and backs out of the driveway in our
car, and the day (I dread this one the most) that will come much too quickly
when I walk her down the aisle. I learned it will be me, not her saying -
Don't let go.