I looked down and my daughter had run over my iPhone with the golf cart. Since Shelter In Place began I’ve trained myself not to react. I’ve also been training myself in the leadership principles I’ve been teaching. As a leader and mentor I can’t start screaming on the 5th hole. I picked up my crushed phone that moments before had been resting innocently in the cup holder and carried on.
On Monday, I sent said daughter to the iPhone repair store. I also sent her to the car wash and the glass repair store. This odd period in history has had the blessing of giving me a chance to further parent my college age daughters and teach them untold lessons like you can’t throw the golf cart in reverse on a hill and then put the petal to the floor. Also, when you go to the car wash you need to walk around the car before tipping and make sure they cleaned the wheels. Yes, the wheels are included in the cleaning otherwise you have to come home and clean them yourself. Lastly, when your sister shatters a table you must measure correctly when ordering a replacement.
Apart from these lessons, the ones we never had time for in the past, we are talking about the future. We drove to Napa the other day and talked about my entering college senior’s plans and I could actually ask her where she would like to be in five years and we had the time to discuss it. As we drove through the valley we talked about soil structure, climate and humidity. I taught her everything I knew about how great wine was made. The afternoon was hot and quiet. We went to the Plump Jack Winery and sat on the patio sipping Cabernet next to the steaming vineyard. We were the only people there. Out of no where the wine maker Aaron Miller appeared and introduced himself. He took off his straw hat and talked to us. He had been a medical student at UC Davis and took a wine making class. The rest is history. I watched my daughter fall in love with wine that day.
I read somewhere that when you’re grieving you have more accidents. While in Napa we stopped for a socially distanced dinner. My daughter ordered a glass of red wine. While raising her glass she accidentally hit her water glass shearing the stem of the glass. She looked at me holding just the bowl in astonishment. Later, at home while watching the X Files she missed the end table shattering her glass into a thousand pieces. Thankfully it was full of just water.
We are all grieving something. Canceled weddings, proms, college graduations and long planned holidays and trips to name a few. Yet, I am looking for the gifts. The sun setting on a vineyard at the end of a warm summer day, the beauty of my daughter’s face sitting across from me with the vines behind her. The precious time we have all had together. I know I won’t remember what was broken during these strange and quiet days, but I will remember the gifts.