There are just days when I lament over it. It's an inconvenience at times. It eats up a good bit of time. It is money we don't need to spend. It isn't even necessary.
I am talking about taking my kids to school every day.
We pay taxes to cover transportation for our kids getting to and from school. The easy thing would be just to put them on the "big cheese wagon" every day and head in to work.
But, years ago, my wife and I made the decision to drive the kids to school. Every day.
It used to be less of an inconvenience - especially when they were attending the same school for two years. But, these days, I am driving an additional 16 miles in the morning. And I am going AWAY from my place of employment by dropping my older son off at high school. When you figure we also are picking him up four times per week from football, we are driving in excess of 140 miles per week just to the high school and back.
So, why do it?
I have asked this question many times of late. Particularly on those days when traffic is jammed on 41, or when the car line is 20+ minutes long.
In the end, we made this decision years ago because we felt it was the right decision for our family. But, there was one benefit that never occurred to me until recently.
Andy Stanley, the Senior Pastor at Northpoint Church, talks quite a bit about the cumulative effect of the choices we make. Essentially, like interest on a bank account, consistent small amounts add up to something significant over time.
I have taken my older son to school since he was two years old. He is now 14. In those 12 years, I have had the opportunity to spend an extra 10-20 minutes per day with him that I would have missed out on. If that time averages to 15 minutes per day, multiplied by 180 school days per year, over a 12-year stretch, that adds up to 540 hours of additional time I have spent with my older son. That figure is 360 hours for my 10-year old.
Discussions about school. About baseball. About the Braves, the 49ers, Bulldogs. About vacations. About what was for lunch that day. About the plans for the evening. About friends and family and church. Precious time and precious words.
I am less than a year and a half away from my older son having a driver's license. Sure, that may be convenient for me or for my wife when he can drive. But, I will also miss out on that extra 15-20 minutes of "father-son" time I have been privileged to spend with him.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me this gift through the years!