At noon today, my dad was back in Spokane, free to enjoy the afternoon a whole country away from where he was earlier this morning. After spending the weekend with his son, daughter-in-law, and (last, but definitely not least) granddaughter, I drove him to the airport at 4 a.m. this morning to fly back home.
The time zone adjustment might make him feel a bit disoriented, but nothing will cloud the memories he made this weekend. For my recap of my dad’s late October trip to Myrtle Beach, I wanted to list and briefly (I mean it this time) describe 10 highlights from his visit.
Picking Up Sloan From Daycare – On Thursday afternoon, over 100 days had passed since my dad last saw Sloan. When we showed up at Oxford Children’s Academy, he immediately picked her out of the crowd when we went out to the playground. It was the beginning of some serious bonding. Thanks to the OCA staff for being so kind and welcoming to my dad!
Trunk or Treat at Geoff’s Church – On Friday night, the four of us attended the Myrtle Beach Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ trunk or treat event. My dad got to see Sloan dressed up in her unicorn costume for the first time and he smiled as he watched her enter the various classrooms of the church to trick-or-treat. After the candy grab, we went inside the church’s gym to watch my co-worker and friend, Geoff Insch, perform a concert with his band, Mr. Inch and the Millimeters. Throughtout the performance, Sloan tore up the dance floor.
Trunk or Treat at Broadway at the Beach – After we returned home on Friday night, Sloan didn’t take her unicorn costume off for long. The next morning we were off to Broadway at the Beach, a major Myrtle Beach entertainment complex, for another trunk or treat event. Although it was chilly, Sloan was in good spirits as she spun around the parking lot in her pink car. Best part was introducing my dad to several of our friends who also happened to be at the community gathering.
Sloan Carves a Pumpkin, Part II – Last October, my dad carved a pumpkin with Sloan. It was so much fun that we did it again this year. After finding the perfect pumpkin at Publix, papa and Sloan carved it last night. As spooky music played in the background, the duo worked hard to create a jack-o’-lantern that resembled a certain 19-month-old. It was a success! They say that after you do something twice it is a tradition, so it looks like my dad is booked for next October (and the next, and the next, etc.) as well.
In the Middle of the Night – The first night my dad was in town, he didn’t wait for us to comfort Sloan when she cried out in the middle of the night. He went directly into her room (our guest room is right across from Sloan’s room) and changed her and fed her. He enjoyed his special time with Sloan in the wee hours of the morning, even if he had just traveled across the country on an exhausting flight. The next evening my dad would bring Sloan into bed with him for an hour after she once again woke up seeking some TLC.
Playing in the Backyard –Although the weather didn’t always cooperate this weekend, my dad and Sloan soaked up every moment that it did. The duo spent plenty of time in our relatively large backyard as they ran around, explored the hammock, and even did some work with the gutter. For a girl who is always saying “outside, outside” she sure appreciated her papa playing with her in the grass.
Fun at the Mall – After the Broadway trunk or treat event, we all went to the mall. While Sidney and I looked at clothes for Sloan, my dad let us browse in peace as he took her out in the mall area to play. He let her ride the coin-operated rides, chase bouncy balls, and go up and down the escalator. Next time we return to Coastal Grand Mall, she is going to have very high expectations.
Sunday Lunch – We had such a nice time early in the afternoon yesterday. Sid’s parents and her sister came over to have lunch with us. I always enjoy it when my family is able to get together with Sidney’s family and Sunday was another perfect example of why it is so enjoyable. Members from the Reser and Mathis families were under one roof to celebrate and enjoy a certain person who is so special to them both – Sloan. She definitely put on a show as we ate grilled hamburgers and hot dogs on a sunny and warm day.
Three non-Sloan related moments…
Lunch in the Cafeteria – I worked a half day on Friday. My dad came and picked me up at the office at noon. Before we went to pick up Sloan at daycare, we went to Palmetto Bays School to pay Sid a visit. We brought Bojangles with us and ate lunch with Sid, her students, and her fellow teachers. Not only did my dad get to meet Mrs. Reser’s 2nd graders but I got to meet them for the first time as well.
Nightly Sports – When night fell and both my girls went to sleep, my dad and I stayed up and watched sports. Whether it be the World Series, college football, or the NFL, we hung out in the living room and watched the action. These days I don’t get to watch sports on television that much so to have the opportunity to do so with my dad, something we always used to do, was something I tried not to take for granted. It was the perfect way to end each day.
Night Out for Adults – These days, it is almost impossible to take Sloan out to a restaurant – she is just at that age. However, we still wanted to go out to eat at least once while my dad was here. On Saturday night, my in-laws graciously watched Sloan for a few hours so we could attend mass and then dine out. We opted for a place we never tried before, Lombardo’s, an Italian restaurant on Kings Highway. The food and atmosphere both impressed as we had a relaxing (and very quiet) evening.
I am so thankful that my dad traveled so far to see us. He treated us so well and I can only hope that we did enough to reciprocate. Sloan can’t wait to see her papa again in December! Don’t Blink.