New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
I calmly walked down the deserted back hallway at work. I had spent the last six hours on my feet in the midst of chaos, criticism and buffoonery.
Anticipating my break, I envisioned the carbohydrate laden snacks and cool, refreshing beverage that soon would be mine. While thinking of the few moments I would spend lounging on the couch in the tranquil break room watching the second half of “The Princes Bride” for the umpteenth time, I slid my hand in my pants pocket.
As my fingers hit the bottom of the empty abyss that was my pocket I came to a stark realization — there was nothing in there. I quickly switched hands and pockets and repeated the action and achieved the same dismal emptiness.
Like a flash, I became fully aware of what had happened.
The previous evening I was speaking with my daughter about her next day at school. She told me with excitement in her eyes that it was Grandparents Day at school and they were all supposed to bring their grandparents for breakfast in the cafeteria. She jumped up and down as she told me how she couldn't wait for Grandma to come and have French Toast Sticks and yummy syrup with her.
I asked her if she wanted to buy Grandma breakfast. She turned and looked at me as glee overcame her entire face. She hopped up and down, squealing “Yes, yes!”
Without a moment’s hesitation, I reached into my front pocket and pulled out the few one dollar bills I had in there and handed them to her. “Here you go, baby. Buy Grandma whatever you want.”
She smiled big and bright as she neatly placed it in her book bag and told me how she would put it the special pocket so she wouldn't lose it.
Now here I stand — in need of cola and snacks — with the corners of my eyes glistening as I am smacked in the face with a wealth of understanding about what love is. I had forsaken myself for her. Given all I had. I could feel my heart swelling in my chest and hoped that no one would come into the break room and see me in this state. I sat down on the puffy couch and thought of her and how I would give life and limb for her.
Though those few dollars were only a small token, they symbolized the love and willingness that I believe most parents have to ensure that their offspring are cared for.
My experience parallels the biblical story of the widow who gave her two mites as Jesus looked on. Not to compare myself to Jesus, but it made me understand the giving heart and the graciousness of this widow. In her poverty, she gave all she had while the rich gave from their excess.
As I sat with my head in my hands I knew without a doubt that this was what parenting was about. Aside from the homework, messy rooms or even the discipline, love and the giving of love trumps all.