Friday, March 22, 2013

Always Taking Time ... No Matter the Season

This year is mine & Grandad's 29th "busy season" together.  If you haven't put the pieces together of my posts, my husband is a CPA ... and we are up to our eyeballs in tax season!  Tax season tends to begin earlier & earlier in our house.  Hours "gently" increase between Thanksgiving and Christmas with various work projects ... then the week between Christmas and New Year's is practically as busy as the federal deadline itself.  Right now our weeks consist of 15+ hours most days with a couple of days during the week which Grandad actually comes home "early" to spend time with Lucy & Tag.  

Tax season schedules like this are nothing new to us.  When our daughter was growing up, there were many tax season weeks where she would see her Daddy just on the weekends (Saturday evenings at best, then always on Sundays when he would try his very best not to work).  Last tax season (when G I Joe was injured) and this tax season have something in common --- they are very unusual (for various reasons this year) and so he works on Sundays. (I know some people would have a lot to say about this but God knows my husband's heart better than anyone else does). 

But I'm saying all of this to preface a point:

No matter how busy his work gets, my husband has always taken time to be with his family. 

Back when our daughter was younger, they may have only seen each other on weekends during tax season, but they made the most of their time together.  He took her on Sunday "afternoon dates" after church -- out to eat, the movies, to the park (when the weather was nice) ... anything she wanted to do, her Daddy made sure they did it.  And then after tax season (we call this period ATS), he was always a chaperone on her class spring field trips. One tradition they had ATS, he would be the one to read her a bedtime story, say prayers with her & tuck her in for the night. 
 A busy Daddy ... yet a very hands-on Daddy.

And the tax season schedule continues with these two little grands in our house.  Lucy is at the age where she "misses Grandad" (with the saddest voice she can make), while Tag runs around the house looking for "Gan-dad, Gan-dad, Gan-dad" either in our family room (where Grandad has his make-shift "home office") or our bedroom.  So when Grandad comes through the garage door on his "early" days, our house erupts in laughter, squeals & cheers for  
"Grandad's home!!! Grandad's home!!! Grandad's home!!!"  
(And I must add that when I refer to "early days", I mean he's only been at work for about 12 hours that day, then he will bring work home to do after the two little munchkins have gone to bed ... 
so he still puts in about 14 hours of work)

Looking back on our past 29 tax seasons, I certainly cannot think of better "character witnesses" to my husband than these three people ... the three who have experienced (and currently experiencing) tax season as a child.  He has never complained about tax season hours ... he has always met deadlines (which there are actually numerous ones) ... he has lived by his motto "I'll take care of it" and he always does.

He & I normally are found in the mornings having a quick breakfast together at a fast food place -- whether we take our protein bars or get a sandwich (I know, not the healthiest but ...) We chat about various things for about 20 minutes then he is off to work.  We've been talking a lot lately about some of our childhood memories.  I love reminiscing & also hearing about the mischievous little boy that he was growing up.  He's talked many times throughout the years of how his Dad was his role model of how Daddies should be with their children.  And one of the things that he has carried with him is how his Dad would "get down in the floor with us (him & his brother) and just play".  And he has modeled what his Dad taught him through his actions -- my husband has been a "hands-on" Daddy who would always take time for his daughter ... and now he is a "hands-on" Grandad who always takes time for his grandchildren.  

My daughter's "Daddy" ... my grandchildren's "Grandad" ... my husband ...

This man has shown his daughter & grandchildren how valuable they are to him.  No matter how hectic and stressful work may get --- his priorities have always been on his family.  And this man has shown his wife (that's me :) not only how valuable his family is, but also how valuable I am to him.  It's not only a testament to his walk with his Savior, but he learned the importance of putting his family as priority from his Dad -- 
so it's a family thing.

Below is a poem that I first heard read by our pastor many years ago when our daughter was just a toddler.  It describes how children look to their Daddies for guidance & how they will follow in their Daddies' footsteps one day.  Every time I read it, I think of how my Granny influenced me along with my Mother & Daddy too ... and I think of how both my husband & I influence our daughter & my grandchildren ... and they will influence our future generations.  We all have someone who is watching & following in our footsteps.  And I am beyond thankful and so overwhelmingly blessed by my husband who has always (even during his busy seasons) taken time for his family.  

"Walk a little slower daddy,"
said a child so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps
and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up,
You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you."
author unknown

It's my endeavor to walk a little slower ...
generations that I will never meet are yet to follow me.


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