Updated: May 28, 2021
This morning is beautiful. The wind is gently rustling the multitude of flowering trees, the grass is green, and the sun out but not too intense. I normally move about my morning quickly and purposefully as I routinely walk our family’s dog, drop the kids off at daycare, and grab breakfast, all before heading to my office.
As I was walking towards my office this morning, I noticed painters working on one of the buildings on campus. As I got closer, I saw a contraption under the ladder, a safety wedge to keep the ladder from slipping. I paused to take in the nostalgia and became emotional. You are likely wondering: why did Jonathan become emotional over construction equipment?
Growing up, I was that wedge. Every Saturday morning, my dad would wake me up, bright and early, for chores and yard work. One of the most dubious tasks was cleaning the leaves out of our house’s gutter. My dad would climb up the ladder and my job was to step on the bottom rung of the ladder and keep it stabilized while my dad worked. I didn’t enjoy this job, but, over time, the roles reversed, and I was tasked with being on the top of the ladder as my dad provided me support from the bottom rung.
Today, as you move about, completing those checklist items of life, slow down and take it all in. Appreciate the phases of life and the daily moments. Appreciate the people that guide you each day, especially the people who inspire, motivate, and ground you from a distance. As I think about my father, he is no longer here with me, I question if I thanked him enough for all that he, and my mother, taught me. If that answer is ever that I am lacking in gratitude towards him, I only need to look to my family and children and say thank you.