By David Du Preez, husband and father of 2 amazing daughters. He believes true fulfilment can only be attained when you do something for someone who can’t do anything for you. Chief Visionary Officer at At Your Service where they provide the FREE drafting of your Will.
The morning run of dropping my kids off at school has been at best routine and even sometimes mechanical UNTIL this morning.
I do the morning run and my wife, Lois, does the afternoon run. It has worked well for us and suits our different programmes well: Lois gets time to get herself ready for work while I drop off the kids and since she works half-day she does the afternoon run.
Our school is quite close but it is amazing what happens in that 10 to 15 minute drive. Alison would sneakily take my phone and choose a YouTube video to watch. Invariably it would be Moana, Frozen or their new favourite Claire Crosby. On another occasion as soon as we get in the car, Alison would start, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with a….. “R!” she would shout. It seems they know when you’re not “there”, not present, when they start luring you into conversations with the most arbitrary, yet serious questions or remind you of their birthday coming up.
Madison (12 in Grade 6) is dropped off first. We stop the car, fix her shirt collar over her blazer collar, help her with her heavy bag onto her back, give her a hug and kiss and some assurance that everything is going to be ok, especially if she has a test on that day. Alison (8 in Grade 3) insists that I carry her bag, walk her to her class, unpack her bag and then walk her to the playground where we say goodbye and I watch her run off. I usually stand for a minute or two until she has found her friends.
While watching her run off this morning, an 8 year old in her grade came running up to me, hugged me saying: “I wish my Dad can drop me off at school but he has to work.” It ripped my heart out. I literally had to blink the tears back. What a surreal experience! What a wakeup call to the privilege that I have to spend those precious moments in the morning with my kids.
I must be honest, I just got into the habit of agreeing to what the kids want to do in the morning. I have so many other things on my mind at times. I was aware that others may not have the pleasure I had gotten so used to and had begun to take for granted. I did not fully grasp the impact it had on them as they start their day at school and even less aware of the impact that it had on those around them who see what we do on a daily basis.
Today a little 8 year old reminded me not to take for granted the precious moments I am privileged to share with my kids on the morning run to school.
I realise I won’t always be there for my kids and have come to cherish each moment I have with them