When my oldest daughter Gina was a toddler she and I did as much with each other as I could make happen.. My entire growing up years I was thoroughly programed to be a pastor. That meant I never thought about my dream career as in my mind I was going to pastor a church for sure. When as a boy I dreamed about the future I would have when I grew up I dreamed about being a Dad.
Gina was my first born of my four daughters. She had my full and complete attention. She was the fulfillment of my youthful dream of being a dad. I took her on as many trips to the store or trips to the bank or on other errands as I could.
One result of all those car trips with me was that Gina felt it was her God given right to go with me every time I walked out the front door. Of course I could not take her every time the car moved. That meant I had to plan my exits to make sure she didn’t see me leave. I didn’t want her to be upset.
When Gina was about two we moved from Monrovia, CA to Sylmar, CA. That was a move of maybe 30 miles. The process us moving really upset Gina.
When we were unloading our things in Sylmar the first thing I did was to set up her collapsing baby bed. I put her in her bed right away. She laid down but she did not go to sleep. She was comforted and at peace. She just laid there watching the whole process of our moving in to our new home. She was feeling safe once more.
When things were all settled down for us I started taking her on my trips again. She had her car seat in the back seat. We would walk into the store or bank etc at her pace and we always held hand while we walked in.
While I conducted our business she always just stood there by my side patiently waiting me me to get done. If we were at a grocery store she never asked for any thing like candy or gum. She just enjoyed the ride in the grocery cart.
One time on our way home I decided to stop and get us a frostie or what is sometimes called a soft serve ice cream. I pulled up to the frostie place but I did not tell Gina we were going to get ice cream. There was a short line at the at the frostie window. At first Gina just stood quietly by my side waiting with me..
Finally Gina noticed that people were walking away from the servos window with ice cream .When I saw she had noticed the treat we were getting to get I looked down at her . When I looked down I saw the biggest smile on her face looking up at me. I will always remember that smile. That smile was so bright that it would have supplied power to all of L A county. for a week.
As I am writing this I noticed I had a big smile on my face as I typed. Emotionally, I am all lit up on the inside right now.. The memory of that smile will always be fresh and delightful to me.