The long quiet drives are blessings in the making
By Jeff Jobe
Nowadays, there are more distractions than any of us could have imagined and for the young adults in our lives it is amazing what they can accomplish. This realization is a necessity for a healthy mind for parents of older teens and young adults.
Of course we remember working, homework, studying, and our social calendars. Whether it was college, trade school or the military as young adults we allowed ourselves to be consumed with our passions and our kids today are no different; at least mine aren’t.
As a matter of fact my children are taking life to a new level and for this I am so proud. Whether it is physical fitness and passion for helping others as seen with my son; tennis, sorority, grades and travel for my oldest daughter or education excellence, sorority and travel for the youngest; each have their own passions and each on their own have chosen to work while attaining these goals.
What more could a father ask than to have three healthy active children engaged in their own passions and dreams for life. I enter into my Christmas holiday with a feeling of absolute content in knowing they are well on their way to accomplish their own goals, milestones and dreams.
Looking back at my life I wouldn’t change too many things and if I thought one of those changes would affect my children from being where they are today I would relive my worst days, months and years all over again.
Perhaps the final piece of my experiences in life is to leave them a true understanding of family and the importance of quality time with family.
As many of you know; my baby is now 18 and off to college and my time has become more of my own. Not by choice but because of a necessity in which a parent must step back and allow their children to begin to live life as adults.
I believe the space is needed, yet true family will always be available to spend time together; I had hoped my actions would convey this rather than words. We all say it, but do we live it.
As a divorced father for more than a decade I have compassion for the father who wants time with his children but is tied to a time clock. This is another area in which I feel blessed because my work was accommodating for the most part.
I never missed a Friday night football game, attended swim meets and tennis matches; and even picked them up from school every Wednesday because I could manage my work load around the times my family needed me.
As a single dad who chose to put his kids first in his world there are times when I felt the sacrifice, and at times I wondered if they took it for granted (which I think it’s okay because they should not worry about where a parents love is centered). Other times you feel alone because those late night drives back from all these events can be very quiet.
Yet I am so proud of the Christmas presents I have gotten this year from my children that I want to share them with you in hopes that some other parent out there may need the encouragement to keep doing what they are doing; they will someday catch on.
This year my son gave me a comic book of the Green Hornet; the Green Hornet is a newspaper publisher by day and a super hero crime fighter by night. He knows my comic book collection began with one called Foghorn Leghorn “that’s my boy,”; I purchased when his mother was pregnant with him.
My daughter Reagan and McKenna made time for me at Thanksgiving and we are currently enjoying a week at the beach.
At dinner last night Reagan said a friend was stressed because she had to go spend time with her dad. I asked why and she said because her dad had remarried and there was so much drama with the new wife; she said, “I told her my dad never put anyone before us and she should speak with him about how she felt.”
So for those of you about to endure those long quiet drives home around the holidays; smile, because they will someday let you know they appreciate it.
Thank you God for this wonderful life.
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations.