You know one thing that was really cool about my childhood? My dad traveled a lot for his Christian ministry. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rejoicing in the fact that he was gone a lot. But I truly always saw it as a positive thing, and I think there’s good reason for that.
For one, I always knew he was out there doing exactly what God wanted him to do. My mom had a great attitude about it that made us all feel it was important and right for him to be where he was. I never once felt that he was neglecting us.
Secondly, instead of making us miss out on crucial “daddy” time, I think the whole situation made for better quality “daddy” time than most people get to experience. My brothers and I had the privilege of taking turns accompanying him on his trips! What a remarkable way to bond!
My dad always did have a way of making the most ordinary things seem extra special. These trips in many ways to him, and eventually to us, became quite ordinary: the airplane travel, the airport wait time, the first peek into the hotel room, the continental breakfast. But somehow dad would make each part seem extra special in a unique way each time. Whether it was sketching funny faces together on a scrap of paper in the airplane, or splurging on a Macdonalds ice cream cone in the airport while waiting on a flight, or simply appreciating my excitement at the cream cheese, or the “real milk” (as opposed to the powdered stuff we drank at home) I found at the hotel’s breakfast spread in the morning. It didn’t take much to please me. Just seeing the smile on my dad’s face that told me that he was enjoying his little daughter meant the world.
These trips also bring to mind a lot of valued experiences making new friends, seeing new sights, enjoying warm hospitality, eating delicious food, and of course, hearing the same sermons and the same jokes over and over (and somehow, surprisingly enjoying them afresh with each fresh audience). How much I would have missed if my dad had just had an ordinary job! I wouldn’t trade my childhood experiences for anyone else’s in the world!