Our annual leadership retreat is what is known as an “all in” event, meaning unless you are in the hospital or a crisis interferes then you make an all out effort to go away for a few days to align as a leadership team.
Over the years, I have missed a few birthday parties and other activities that we could move or shift and do/celebrate at another time, but this year, I was forced to choose between supporting my son as he swam at his district championships or miss the retreat. This year in particular had been a stretch for my son in a few areas of his life and next year will be his last year under my roof, so for all of these reasons, I made a tough choice.
After sitting in the stands for 8 hours and cheering his events all the way through to the finals, I was able to give him a ride home. He knew the choice I had made and as we drove in the cool darkness he said, “Dad, thanks so much for making it, it really means a lot.” For those of you who don’t have teenage boys that was the equivalent to a love letter or pledge of undying love.
I can never go back and be at that leadership retreat; but I can also never go back and not be at my son’s championship meet. Our presence has power and our responsibility is to wield that power wisely.