Teachable Moments

I don’t know what it was that sent Leighton into a tail spin tonight. Somehow we went from playing happily to having a full out melt down by the end of bath time. In all honesty I think we’ve had a number of busy days and he is exhausted. He, however, is very much like his mommy and won’t ever admit that he is beyond tired. Whatever it was he was a mess of emotions and he didn’t even know why he was upset.

And so I knew that he needed a cool down and chance to re-set his emotions so I loaded him up in the van and we decided to go for a drive. I told him that I needed him to go with me and see how much the lake had flooded. We happen to be in our biggest flood in at least the last 100 years. It rained over 8 inches yesterday and on Colorado dry soil that didn’t go over too well. Roads are washed out, people are stranded all over our county and first responders are working full time.

As I pulled the van out of the neighborhood just up the road I saw a number of emergency vehicles pulled aside and large flood lights out. We live right near the trail head of one of the popular bike/running/nature trails in our little town. Earlier today the parking lot had been under water. As we drove by, I could see that the parking lot was now a long lost memory and the water was creeping up to the mail road and the bridge was at risk. There were a number of first responders and such surveying the waters and keeping people back and safe.

Leighton and I drove on and made a little circle up to one of the parks in town near the lake, where we really couldn’t see anything from the van because it was dark, and then started circling back towards home. As we drove we talked about emotions and how he is a lot like me and when we get very tired our emotions go whacky. He had calmed way down at this point and we had a good talk and a good prayer.

As we got close to home, we could still see police men set up watching the waters rise. I mentioned to Leighton “Maybe we could ask Daddy to make some coffee and bring it down here for those guys that are going to be working all night to keep everyone safe”. He then told me that he wanted to bring the police men some coffee.

We drove home and soon Clint and I were working two different coffee machines to get coffee going and Leighton headed to the basement to find a box of granola bars to give the guys as well. It didn’t take long to have a few thermoses ready with warm coffee.

Leighton climbed back in the van and we headed back down the road. When I parked the van behind one of the police cars, he asked if he could get out with me. Since he was already in his PJs I carried him as he carried the granola bars and coffees. We quickly found a police officer and told him thank you and handed over the goodies. We told him that we appreciated what he was doing and hoped that these helped his night go a little better. He smiled and said “thanks”.

As we climbed back into the van to head home and finish the bedtime routine that had been started so long before, I told Leighton that I was proud of what he had done. None of this had been planned tonight, and yet being able to take a rough time and turn it into a chance to encourage and bless some people that are watching out for our town tonight, I only pray that both he and I remember that when are emotions are raw and we’re tired to stop and take a deep breath and look beyond ourselves and reach out and then get the sleep we need to reset.

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