Monday, February 16, 2009

Bathing my skin and life in water, cool and cleansing: connection at the water park

If I ranked my moments as a father (don't worry, I'll spare you), our family's recent trip to Minnesota would be up there.

I haven't done much research on this, but indoor waterparks are all the rage in the Upper Midwest (maybe they're all over the country). Going to the waterpark is one activity outside of Christmas and Halloween that captures my oldest daughter's attention every time. We make a little pilgramage about twice a year to a water park, and she will look forward to it for weeks, discussing it often with her teachers, even to the point of interrupting me in the middle of a sermon on Sunday morning: "Dad, can we go to the water park now?"

We've found a place that suits our family well for price, size of park, quality of hotel accommodations, and proximity to other things we want to do. What made this trip so great was that I connected with my daughters in a rare way. One thing I have discovered as my household manager is that when I am at home, I find it difficult to concentrate, because I am always thinking about the next household project--whether it be a little task such as moving the laundry along, or a big task like gathering the outgrown clothing and sorting them into donation and selling piles. Rare is the moments where I have a pure connection moment with my daughters. I attribute this lack of concentration on my role, part of it is my weak ability to hold a conversation with a child, as well as my yet to arrive skill of appreciating the moment. Being away from home, engaged in an activity both of my girls love (it took awhile for child #2 to find the joys of the water park), I connected with my daughters without a thought of the other burdens and responsibilities of my life. We played and talked--simple, unadulterated connection time. I never would have guessed how hard it could be. Or how joyful it could be.

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