July 12, 2014: Counting my Blessings
Garrett completed his 12th Triple Bypass this afternoon. 120 miles with 11,000 feet of climbing. Last year was the first year he missed (due to an unnamed someone in Omaha who had plans that didn't include Colorado).
So today was all about Garrett. His day. A streak to be continued (minus a minor blip in 2013). And my kids were right by my side in this sentiment.
Without hesitation, Zach and Grant bypassed a sleep-in-Saturday. They happily accompanied me to Vail to cheer Garrett on at the ride finish line. There wasn't a single word questioning the need for their attendance or complaints on better use of their time.
In years past, this positive response from my boys wouldn't have given me a second thought. I would have expected nothing less. That's how they were raised and the kind of boys they are; ones open for an adventure and not questioning the keen skills of their parents in navigating the master calendar.
I have since learned that not all kids are wired this way. With many, it's all about what they want and what they feel like doing. I don't buy into this philosophy. Life isn't always about a plan to suit our individual needs. It's about being open-minded to the unknown and thinking outside of ourselves.
Over the last few years I have come to appreciate these traits in my kids that I had previously taken for granted. The boys are typically adaptable and non-argumentative in enjoying our time together. They are often selfless in life choices. All three have an admirable ability to think outside themselves. I hadn't a clue that this wasn't a norm for teenagers.
Garrett was amazed in our early years together as he observed the behavior of the Lane boys. They would enthusiastically join in on the planned or unplanned event of the day. If I said we were going to the grocery store, they would pile in the car without an argument or a question asked. Garrett's jaw would drop in awe.
Once it was pointed out that this wasn't a normal behavior, I began to count my blessings. I couldn't imagine a child not thinking our plans to be fun. As a family, we have always collectively bought into the philosophy that life is an open book; full of opportunities and chance meetings. But you have to leave the house and think outside yourself to find them.
At ride finish, there was a general meeting area. With some shade and some time; Zach, Grant and I decided to sit a bit until Garrett's anticipated finish time. As the three of us were buried in our phones, two elderly gentlemen joined our table. Before I could say a word, Zach greeted them and put his phone aside. I sat back and listened to the exchanging of stories on hometowns and common interests of guns and micro-breweries.
I often remind my kids to be kind. That we never know when a kind word or smile to a stranger will make a difference. It was heart-warming to observe this behavior first hand rather than my lecturing them.
Zach made his mom proud. He was thinking outside of himself. The best selfless acts of kindness are those that look for nothing in return. In this case, two elderly men learned about a young man from Nebraska and a gun school in their hometown that they were not aware. Zach learned about a Denver micro-brewery festival in September and a lake in mid-Nebraska.
So today I am grateful.
I am grateful for a 21 and 14 year old, with far better Saturday options than a two hour drive into the mountains with their mom to cheer on their stepfather at a bike ride finish line. I am grateful for a husband who trained hard and achieved this difficult feat. The Triple is not for the faint of heart.
Garrett later shared with me that this was the first time in his twelve Triple Bypass' he had anyone cheering him at the finish. Having him see me in on the roadside and yell, "Hey, Sandy!" at mile 120 was priceless. I am glad we could accommodate. It was fun.
|View on our drive home after a very good day|