Adventures with Laylah

August 26, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

It is hard to imagine that it has been so long since I’ve blogged that there is nothing on here about Laylah.  For those of you who don’t know, Laylah is our 3, almost 4, year old daughter.  For those keeping score, that means we have 3 daughters–17, 14 and 3, all with birthdays this fall.  People always make a face when they hear the spread for the first time.  “Got a surprise, huh?”  “Yeah, but not how you think.”  I’ll tell you the story some time in the future for sure about how God brought the awesome Laylah Sue Loften into our lives, but that is for another day.

Today we are talking about adventures.  About a year ago on a Saturday morning, mom was headed out garage saling (Red squiggle for saling, huh?  So “to garage sale” is not a verb? Agree to disagree.) and Laylah was not happy so I asked her if she wanted to go on some adventures.  Not exactly sure why I used that word, because what I had in mind was not, by most definitions, adventurous.  That perked her up quickly and we were on our way.

As we were getting in the car, I asked her what she wanted to do first.  She said that she wanted to go to the gas station and get a sucker.  Adventure! So we went to Kum & Go (Where & Means More!) and she got a sucker and I got an obnoxiously large fountain drink (The smallest drink is the medium and it’s 32 oz). I was hungry, so we then went to Chick-Fil-A (Home of the Original Chicken Sandwich) for some breakfast. Adventure! The Chick-Fil-A we visited happens to be next to Barnes and Noble (Unleash Your Imagination) and Petco (Where the Healthy Pets Go).  So after lunch we went to “The Pet Shop.” Adventure! Then we went to “The Story Store” (You see the story store is different than a library because you have to buy the stories instead of take them home with you). Adventure!

After about two and a half hours, she gets tired and she is all adventured out.  We go home get some lunch and she passes out for a nap.  Little did I know that I had begun a weekly tradition.  This is now what my Saturday mornings are–always.  In the last year, we have expanded our repertoire.  We go to Toys ‘R Us (Where a Kid Can Be a Kid) sometimes and occasionally run the aisles at Wal-Mart (Always Low Prices).  We also have southern adventures with a different Kum & Go and Chick-Fil-A, but includes the Fayetteville Public Library (strengthening our community and empowering our citizens with free and public access to knowledge) and the Farmers Market (where our commitment to fresh, locally grown produce and goods has helped Northwest Arkansas grow into a healthier and greener community) Adventures!!!

We do some version of this every Saturday we are in town.  We’ve even been known to do it in Branson (There’s Only One…) on occasion. Too Much Adventure! Laylah asks almost every day if tomorrow is Saturday or “Adventure day.” It is one of the highlights of her week and mine as well.  We have a blast together.  For a relatively small investment of 2-2 1/2 hours, I get so much.

She knows that I love her and that I value spending time with her.  She is building up a huge memory bank of a dad that consistently and lovingly gave her part of his time.  I’m building up the same memory bank.  Big picture, there is going to come a day when her eye is going to be looking to other guys.  The more I serve and love her, the less and less likely it becomes that she will settle for some selfish guy that wants something from her but gives nothing.  I am teaching her what it means to be loved by a man, what a dad is, and in 50 years or so, when she starts dating, I want her standard to be high.

Dads, I can’t say this to you enough.  Search the site, and you will see that I have been saying this for years.  You need to start now, investing personal regular time in your girls.  You need to love and date and serve them. The payoff now and in the long run is huge.  It doesn’t take a huge investment–you’d be surprised how much mileage I can get out of a 20 cent sucker.  While the investment can be small, the dividends will echo for eternity.

We are too cool for these bike helmets, Wal-Mart, and everything

We are too cool for these bike helmets, Wal-Mart, and everything