I trust that you had a great 2013 and enjoying the long and gentle onramp towards Christmas. As I reflect on our last year and all the highlights that communicate how our family is the best and brightest, a recent event in our family’s life pretty much sums up our year.
Remember that horrific cold snap a week or so ago? In our neck of the woods the temps dropped down to the high 40’s. CRAZY!! Well, being that our entire family is only outfitted with hoodies, we were all cranky and cold. And to make matters worse, it was beginning to rain.
As we all arrived at home from work, boy scouts, and various errands, everyone was tired, grumpy, and cold, myself worst of all. I don’t totally remember the interaction, but MacKenzie said something snotty to me, or to her mom, or maybe just asked me a question. At this point, it doesn’t really matter. I did what I naturally do when one of my kids is cranky and begins to cry…send them to their room. So off MacKenzie went. And in a moment of brotherly empathy, Noah followed to make sure she was okay.
And for the first time all afternoon, Katie and I found ourselves in the kitchen with some peace and quiet. Even though one of our kids was crying and the other was busy being empathetic, the calm brought with it a brilliant idea. “Let’s all go out to a special dinner together and rent a movie.” (Okay, no one rents a movie anymore, but you get the idea) So, with all excitement to regain some family love, I call back to the kids with this benevolent news. “Grab your coats, we are going out to dinner.”
What happened next was totally unexpected! From the end of the hallway I see that Noah has ditched his cold and wet clothes for pajamas and yelled back, “WE REFUSE!” And not only did he say that, but he and his sister began chanting , “We refuse! We refuse!” I saw red! But unlike my normal yell back followed by more crying, I fought fire with fire!
I immediately called our neighborhood babysitter, offered her $20 for the next hour or so, set out some tortillas and cheese, and hit the road with my wife. And for the next hour and a half had the most delightful time with Katie. We drank wine, ate pizza, got caught up with all the logistics for the week and even talked about some of the real things that are happening in our lives, separate from our kids. #bestnightever.
And in this one evening, you get to see:
- How much our kids love each other
- How much I have grown as a father
- How much an hour and a half without my kids is worth to me, $20
- How much I love being with Katie and partnering in all of life with her.
- How much global warming sucks! (Sorry, climate change ☺ )
For as hectic as life is, I am thankful that chaos actually doesn’t define me, my life, or my family. In fact in the beginning God looked at the chaos and said, “Let there be light!” And this Christmas season we celebrate that God sent his Son to be the light of all. It is this light that we look to for peace and purpose and our prayer is that your Christmas season is marked not by chaos, but more and more by peace!
Love the Kerns Family