Time. A currency most people neglect to budget. It's spent like water over the edge of a fall. Never stopping and seemingly taken for granted. And, just like water, it's extremely precious. Every drop . . . every second . . . makes a difference.
I started really growing up when I had my three boys. Childhood keeps us young. Fatherhood gives us wisdom. We get wisdom to recognize, finally, the finite nature of time. It's something that I'm learning and honing over . . . well, over time.
As a father, time is used to share love with family – even in occasionally rough conditions.
Nowadays, it seems that work and dual-parent travel is an environment we can't escape. The career is our weather, thundering overhead. Every now and again, we have a break in that storm. That's one of the reasons we're lucky to have a two-and-a-half acre farm. I can make quick use of the field to take the boys and family friends “out camping.” We can eliminate our exposure to distractions inside the home and focus our attention on family.
Our version of camping, as overlanders, is actually quite quick to set up. It doesn't come with any shortage of view since we're almost always eight feet off the ground. A few pulls of a zipper, fold of canvas and we're set up.
Very little time.
I enjoy sitting around our camp, watching the boys play in the dirt. The adults catch up on recent events and make plans for the future. As we sit and watch the sun finish its work for the day, I share our latest favorite snack: Ball Park Flame-Grilled Jerky. Our long-time meat-loving sponsors just came out with it, perfectly reflecting our own tough and tender mentality in its char-grilled creation.
The big boys are old enough now to share a bag as they show us how deep a hole they can dig. Tough work, here. I'm just happy I can give them something with a home-grilled taste without actually firing up the grill. Less work for me. More time spent with them.
Some Boy definitely is a Teriyaki kid, and I was happy to see the thick pieces of meat get eaten by finicky eaters so quickly.
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The boys played like we were another 1000 miles from home, never asking for a tablet or toy other than the shovel.
We may look tough, but we do it all for these tender moments.