I don’t like missing events to which I’ve made a commitment. Case in point, our writers group meets once a month, and tonight was the scheduled meeting night. Unfortunately, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to make it because my wife was slammed at work, and she was unable to leave at the necessary time in order for us to make it to our meeting by 7:00 PM. In addition to that, there was the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion from a ragged work day and what has been an even more ragged work week. I was on the fence, and definitely leaning in the direction of missing the meeting.
Then I received a text from daughter.
“Can we hang out this afternoon? It feels like forever since I’ve seen you. Maybe we can grab a bite?”
How can I say no to the young woman who owns my heart. The fact she lives with her mother and has a fairly busy social and extra-curricular schedule means daddy/daughter time is very much at a premium.
I picked her up and we headed to a restaurant for dinner. On the way she filled me in on her current assignment for English class. She has to write a short story about a dystopian society, and she didn’t know where to begin. To further complicate matters, her best friend had a great plot for her story, and my daughter was starting to fret about being able to do her project.
We kicked around some thoughts. She quickly rejected my initial ideas, and I quickly realized the other story lines I was coming up with were actually regurgitated plots from movies and novels. “Wait. That’s the plot to Serenity. Oops. I’m pretty sure that’s Brave New World. Ugh. I think I just combined The Hunger Games with Divergent.”
Back and forth we went. Each step forward was followed by two steps back. The only tension she’d have in her narrative was the retelling of our dinner encounter. I decided to call my wife.
“Are you on your way home?”
“I’m at dinner with Natalie and I can use your help.”
<confused silence> “Um. Okay. With what?”
I explained what we were working on and where we were. She was only five minutes away.
Upon my wife’s arrival, I could see the look of excited relief on my daughter’s face. My wife, who has been consuming books at an amazing pace over the last several years, is particularly fond of YA, dystopian stories. She and Natalie quickly kicked the brainstorming session into high gear. Within minutes, they developed a working plot, characters, and an overall feel for the story. The excitement my daughter was exuding was tangible.
Although I contributed with key ideas here and there, it was the Natalie and Lee show (NataLee?). More importantly, it was so awesome to see them both come together and bond over a moment like they did. To see the look of admiration in my daughter’s eyes coupled with the sincere willingness on the part of my wife to be a positive and helpful resource to her step-daughter was simply beautiful.
I like to think that coincidence is God showing off, and it’s no coincidence we missed our meeting this evening. The sequence of events that made tonight possible may appear random, but I am convinced they are of His design. I love my writing group, and I’ve learned so much from them over the past couple of years, but I wouldn’t trade tonight’s memories for the world.