Saturday, April 21, 2007
Parental Peak Experience
Zac addresses volunteers before work starts.
This is the Americorps and Habitat Construction Staff in New Orleans.
Peak experiences as a parent are fewer and farther between as our kids get older and move away from home (not too mention the high school drought years), but when they occur they are every bit as overwhelming and nectar-sweet. I flew to New Orleans to see Zac and meet his girlfriend Erin, arriving at 2 AM on a delayed flight. Four and a half hours later I sat in a little trailer office and watched my son meet with his Habitat for Humanity cohorts before the workday began. Throughout the day I witnessed him addressing a morning crowd of hundreds of volunteers, getting us all assigned to various crews and inspiring us about our work; answering scores of construction questions from staffpersons; juggling two overactive cell phones; dealing with vendors and delivery guys twice his age - never at a loss for good information and good humor. His leadership skills blew me away with pride.....this from the kid that did everything he could to avoid getting assigned a speaking part in his sixth grade play. I also learned a few tricks about hammering studs into place as I worked with a team of volunteers.
Then there is the indescribable pleasure of seeing him in love and being loved by a beautiful young woman, every bit as infused as he with the wonder and faith in the rush of possibilities and dreams at the dawn of adulthood. I feel feted on the darkest of chocolaty desserts that life can offer up to a 54 year old parent.