Monday, March 6, 2017

Sometimes love looks like standing outside of Target at 6:45 a.m. in 32 degrees

Nintendo just placed a new game console on the market.  Winning the lottery is easier than securing this new console.  Few get so lucky.  The consoles are impossible to find online and barely available in stores.

Caleb was desperate to get his hands on the new console.  The new item had been hyped throughout his favorite websites and his friends were in a tizzy over who would be the blessed recipient.  

For over a year, Caleb has stored up money from pet sitting and dog walking jobs.  From all his efforts, he had enough money to purchase the console without any parental contributions.

He begged me to take him to the store to purchase the item.  I suggested we call around before heading into a wild goose chase.  As a surprise to no one, every store was sold out.  Target, however, told us they were expecting a small shipment the next day.  The store employee recommended we arrive early as a line was expected to form.

Target opens at 8 a.m.  Caleb pleaded with me to take him to the store before 7 a.m.

As I contemplated all the reasons to say no (sleep, sleep, and more sleep), I really had only selfish objections (cold, cold, and more cold).  He earned the money.  I had not (good) reasons why I couldn't drive him to the store at 6:45 a.m.

The next morning, we piled into the car in the darkness.  We were both clad in winter coats and a few layers.  The temperature on my phone app read 32 degrees.

We pulled into the Target parking lot and Caleb sprinted to the door.  Several others who were sitting in the parking lot jumped out of their vehicles when they watched Caleb stand outside the door.  He was the very first in line and quickly others fell behind.

To be honest, I spent most of the next hour reading in the car while checking in on him by phone (and watching him through my windshield).  But, the last 15 minutes, I stood by his side outside of the Target door in the freezing cold with a group of kids that could best be described as "like-minded" to my son.  He found his people.

It was freezing.  It was early.  It was not my thing.

But, Caleb is my thing.

His things are my things.

His happiness is important to me.

Making connections with him is paramount to me.

Ten minutes before the doors opened, the Target employee walked outside and distributed tickets.  The Target store only received ten new Nintendo consoles.  Caleb secured, as he called it, the "golden ticket."  In his world, this was Christmas.  In my world, I had the pleasure of watching my son experience Christmas.  We both couldn't stop grinning.

At 8 a.m., the doors finally opened.  Caleb waltzed up to the counter and secured the console with his money.  He couldn't stop smiling and hugging me.  

At that moment, I realized that no amount of sleep or warmth could compete with watching my son's joy.

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