In my previous blog post I confessed that I have workaholic tendencies. Please know that I didn't do this lightly because my relationship with God, my wife and my children must take priority in my life and that was slipping away.
So in reckless abandon, we took off for Baltimore for the day as a family last Saturday and this is where I want to pick the story up...
As we drove into the heart of the city and I was listening to the GPS guide me to a parking garage, my son asked me a question... "Dad, what's the ESPN Zone?" As I looked up I noticed that there right beside the aquarium was the ESPN Zone restaurant and bar. Now I had the privilege of going to the one in Washington DC with a few guys and it is a really cool place. It didn't take long for me to realize that this day would be anything but a success if I didn't take my son to experience the Zone!
After our sightseeing adventures (noted in yesterday's blog) we headed over to see what type of wait we would have to experience at the Zone. As we got there, we were asked if we wanted the restaurant or the bar area where there are enough sports playing on large screen TVs to blow away even the greatest of sports enthusiasts. Now I'm not one who likes to wait at restaurants, but it was a no brainer to wait for a table in the TV room. With buzzer in hand we headed off to play some games (yes they have those too...) until our table was ready.
As our buzzer went off and we approached the host, he proceeded to tell Susan and I that they didn't have a table available yet, but they did have four recliners down front we could eat from. (Side Note: For those of you who have never been to an ESPN Zone, they have recliners you can eat from down in front of the big wall of TV screens - it's awesome!!!) With huge smiles' on my kids faces we decided to go for it.
Now here's a few of the things God reminded me of in the ESPN Zone while sitting in a recliner (If only all of God's reminders could come this way...) Because we were spread apart in large recliners, the opportunity to dialogue with my kids wasn't easy, so I just sat and observed them for a bit. I sat and looked at their beaming faces and thanked God for the opportunity to be their dad and gain great pleasure from a simple smile. I sat and observed them order their meals politely and with confidence and recognized just how much they were growing up. There they sat reclined with feet up sipping their soda's watching college lacrosse and taking in the full experience. I couldn't help but reminisce just how quickly they were growing up and reminded myself to take advantage of every experience I can enjoy with them. I sat there looking at them thankful for the day we just spent together with the realization that I can't spend every Saturday with them, but I need to spend as much time as possible living and experiencing life with them while there is time.
God has entrusted these kids to me for a short time in light of all eternity and God wants them to have a dad that is fully engaged in their lives. I know there were emails waiting for me at the office and that there is always something else to be worked on... but I'm sure glad for a day at the ESPN Zone where amongst all the TVs, drinking, noise, games and people I saw two smiles that will sit nicely in the picture frame of my mind for many years to come.