A Few Hours With Liam

Posted: September 7, 2009 in Family
Tags: , , ,

I was able to take the time today and just spend a few hours with my oldest son, Liam. For those that do not know I have been blessed with three boys who I will write about at various times on this blog. Liam is 7 years old and I seem to identify with him the most as he reminds me a lot of myself at that age. I am lucky that I do get to spend a fair amount of time with my children but it is very hard to spend quality, one on one time with each of them.

Like a lot of families in this country we have gone through some financial hardships recently. I was involved in a failed business venture that completely wiped us out and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. All of this was happen at the time that Liam was nearing that age where he is really starting to understand a lot of those things that parents don’t want their children to pick up on. I was really getting upset because along with dealing with my failure as a businessman I had to deal with all the hopes I had for my family and the promises I made them vanish. Every time my boys would ask me for a toy or some special snack of food they liked, but could no longer provide, I took it as just another little cut at my abilities.  Even though a few months have passed and things are a bit better and I have a much deeper perspective, it still can hurt a bit.

After several months both my wife and I have found work. For the first time in Liam’s life his mother has to work and not be there for him and his brothers. As much as I hated it she had to work now too, even then our combined income together only is about two-thirds of what I made alone before. It is hard for our little boys to understand sometimes but Liam is at that age where he is starting to get it, and that can hurt you even more.

However today I was able to spend about 3 hours with Liam, just me and him. My wife took advantage of the holiday today to go into work and earn a few hours of holiday overtime. We only have one vehicle so I drove her all the way to work. Since it is about a 45 minute drive I told her I would just hang around the area instead of driving all the way back home, just to turn around and pick her up later and waste all that gas. My mother (who lives with us) was going to watch our boys, but Liam asked if he could come with us. The other two did not want to come (because the drive is boring) so I said it was OK. We got there my wife went inside and we took a short trip down the road to Wal-Mart.

We walked around the store for a bit. Liam just talking away. I don’t remember half the things he said, but he was full of insights and plans. He wants to learn how to skateboard, he wants the new Nerf gun that just came out, and on and on. We looked at the toys and all the stuff in electronics. We looked at all the “man stuff” in the store. We went over to the grocery section so he could pick out the snack chips that we would have with our hamburgers for dinner that night when we got home. We left the store and went over to Game Stop and looked at all the video games. He played with the Wii while I played with the PS3. He would show me something cool and then congratulate me when I would do something cool.

We left the store and headed back over to where my wife and I work. We still had a couple of hours so he helped me clean out our van. He had to go to the restroom so I took him inside the building. He was worried that security would not let him in because he did not have a badge like his dad. I assured him he would be alright since he was with me. My 7 year old, who doesn’t like to hold hands with his dad because he is a big boy now, held my hand as we walked by the security desk just so that they knew he was with me.

When we finished inside and left the building he wanted to play in the sand of the volleyball court we have on the property. He did that until he got bored. So we took a walk around the exercise trail, talked about the dragon flies and the ducks we saw. He was telling me about all the stuff he wanted to do when he grew up. He worried about his loose tooth that he has. We picked up some lava rocks that is used in the landscaping because they looked like space rocks to him to take to his brothers.

My wife finished work and came out to us. We got back into the van and headed for home. We stopped at the 7-11 for some drinks and a snack and Liam told her about all what we did. As traveled down the road he told us that it had been his best day ever.

It is in those moments that God truly speaks to me. It is that type of love that my oldest son shows to me, even though he understands that daddy isn’t perfect and sometimes the promises I make, I break. Yet he trades all of that for just a few hours of my undivided attention. A few hours that he doesn’t have to share with his brothers, his mother or his grandmother. For a few hours today it was just Liam and his daddy. If someone had offered to undo all the mistakes I made over the past year in exchange for the memory of those few hours today I would be tempted for a few fleeting moments to say yes just so I could erase the shame I feel from my failures, but I know that I would say no. I was the most important thing in Liam’s world and I know he would not even be tempted to trade it.

Thank you God for those short hours.

  1. Hawkeye says:

    I enjoy those times myself. They hold a value that cannot be matched.

    Hook him up with that Nerf, and start the cover & concealment classes.

  2. Steph says:

    Liam is definitely awesome!

  3. cjtony97 says:

    This was truly uplifting, Derek. I see so many similarities to my own recent experiences; spooky. God bless you, my friend. You are now in my prayers.

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