As I was leaving work the other day, a colleague asked me what I was doing for the weekend. I responded “Well, I get to go to a taekwondo tournament for my grandchildren.” He gave me an odd look and said “You get to go?”, which I thought was a strange reply, until I started listening to others in the elevator answering similar questions about their weekends and almost all of them said things like “I have to take my son to his baseball game” or “I have to drive to dance lessons tonight” or “I have to go to my daughter’s soccer game” – and then I realized that why he had made his comment.
Most of say ‘we have to’ when we are talking about things that are a chore, take time away from what we really want to do or are just a pain in the butt. And I probably said the same thing many times myself – but now at this stage of my life I realized I’m actually pleased that I get to attend my grandchildren’s baseball games or taekwondo practices or their concerts. Why in the heck would I be pleased to let my butt fall asleep sitting on a bleacher for hours? Or happy that I’m getting second-degree sunburn while squinting in the hot sun? Or enthusiastic to freeze my ears off watching a football game? Maybe it’s senility at my advanced age of almost 65. Maybe it’s boredom from watching too many old black and white movies with my hubby. Maybe I’m trying to make sure my grandchildren like me enough to pick a good nursing home for me when it’s time.
Or maybe – just maybe – it’s because as we get older time becomes more precious. As those we have loved die too young we realize that we have been given a great gift of more time which we should use wisely.
So, I choose to use my time to ‘get to’ encourage my grandson to pay attention to the ball instead of kicking the sand. I ‘get to’ cheer on my grandchildren in taekwondo in their quest for medals and a black belt. I ‘get to’ drive my granddaughter to high school every morning and listen to her dreams and her frustrations. I ‘get to’ watch the same episode of Bluey for the 20th time with my grandsons. Most of all – I ‘get to’ be a part of their lives and their memories. I hope I have more ‘get to’ moments to come because then I ‘get to’ have the memories of their faces as they accomplish great and wondrous things.
What do you “get to” do this week?