When my wife Kate and I moved to Wichita, KS from Bolton Landing, NY we got a bunch of great press in the papers since we were bringing our company CreativeRHINO with us. In an interview with Carrie Rengers from the Wichita Eagle I was quoted saying that one of the things I looked forward to most was, “The fact that we can actually go out to dinner after 8 o’clock at night.” That quote didn’t settle too well with some of my fellow business owners in Bolton, especially since I had been the manager of one of the restaurants in town. However, Bolton is a sleepy town on the banks of Lake George in the Adirondacks. You don’t live there for a wide variety of fine dinning…you live there for the tranquility, the access to nature, the lake, and the amazing people. I miss Bolton dearly and still visit it every summer, but Wichita has become home.
Wichita offers an amazing lifestyle for someone my age (mid 30’s). You can afford a lot on very little and have easy access to things such as fine dinning, concerts, art, city officials, etc. It’s a little-big city. Moving here allowed us to buy a house, have 2 kids, get a great job, invest in our future, and stay involved with the community. Right now is my favorite time of year: College Basketball! I grew up loving the Wichita State Shockers but seeing games was hard since I left Wichita for the East Coast in 1995. I’d catch a game here and there but mostly I would stare at a computer screen and wait for stat updates. By the 2000’s I was able to stream the game audio on my laptop or find an online radio station. Now? I drive to the arena and sit at center court row 3 for every game. That is a SWEET perk and I totally have my father to thank for that!
Last night my dad picked me up at my house, both of us dressed in Shocker Gold, and we headed over to the arena together as we listened to the pre-game show on the radio like we always do. When we parked I got an overwhelming sense of joy that rushed over me. Three years ago I would get giddy as a schoolgirl to see a Shocker game…like I was going to meet the President of The United States or something. Nowadays its business as usual…and that can’t be taken for granted. My toddler Max (year and half) has not been in the mood to hug me the past few days and has been doting all his attention on Mommy. So as I walked up to the front doors of Charles Koch Arena I grabbed my dad, hugged him good and hard, and told him “I love you.” Pretty special.
All you dads-to-be, dads with youngsters, and moms…go hug a parent or mentor today and tell them you love them for no reason other than the fact that its true. There was a time in my teens when I wouldn’t hug my parents or show any PDA (Public Display of Affection). Some day Max and his little brother will do the same to me. So hug a parent to try to make up for all those years you were a brat. Living in Wichita has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have anywhere else in the world, but having kids has given me the opportunity to gain perspective on my parents. Every new phase my toddler enters I respect and love my parents even more. How did they do this? This is hard! You start to realize how much those people (whom you love to poke fun at) sacrificed for you. For YOU! I know because I’m doing it right now for my family. So go hand out some hugs today, if you can’t get to those you love give them a call, or there is always Thanksgiving next week when bulk hugging is encouraged. I can’t wait to see my mom, give her a hug, and tell her I love her. Life is good my friends. Life is good.