Sunday, February 26, 2006

To harness or not to harness? Not really a question.

My wife and I have now had a shared experience--traveling with kks alone in an airport. This is only a small portion of the trips that we each took to the Northwest with her--but certainly the most stressful. The little girl has a propensity to bolt as it is. Throw in security areas, shops, and people scurrying in all different directions to achieve their global destinations; the parent of a young child will sever their nerves. I'm not sure this activity parallels a soldier on patrol--but the hightened sense of awareness and visualization of something awful happening challenged my stamina and sanity.

The prime tool in this survival game--a harness wrapped around kks' upper torso. This is a kind term for a leash. Questioning looks always come from onlookers as we travel together. Parents of young children who don't use a harness always comment as we walk by in an exasperated tone, chasing down a toddler (especially in the airport): "I need one of those." The harness keeps kks safe, allows her to burn off some energy through running, and lowers my stress level. I can actally get a few things done.

Emotions ran the gamut on this trip--I can't really say it was a vacation--I took family leave time. It has been a long time since I have connected with family to this degree. Some family I had not seen in nearly 30 years. Many people I know in South Dakota that are tight with their families both in relationship and proximity cannot fathom how I live my family life. I will not reflect upon the value of either situation--it is the only situation I know right now. I do know that kks should know who she is and from what stock she came--and we do the best we can considering our callings. The calling is always to be stewards of the gifts we have been given. Family is one of those gifts.


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