We took a 6 hour trip in the middle of the night for Ranger's job over the weekend, nonstop driving there and back. I came along to keep Ranger awake (don't worry, we had to check in with both parents frequently. No chance for any trouble). Before we left, Ranger's dad made sure he was prepared to pull an all-nighter. I guess you could say he put his foot down. He spoke with such conviction, I'd stay awake while driving not because it was the safe thing, but because I wouldn't want to disappoint this man! I can tell that he's the sort that when he says something and means it, you'd better listen. Which should be a scary thing. My past has taught me that someone who exerts so much control is someone to be feared. But the difference is this: What he said he said with such love that mountains could have moved if he needed them to. I have no doubt that he loves his son. Every firm word he gives is so enveloped in love it becomes that much more powerful.
So where did B go for this all-nighter? Asleep in the spare bedroom at Ranger's dad's house. It was so touching to see how nervous his dad was to be the caretaker. When we got there, I could tell he was nervous. I don't wonder, either. I mean, not only has it been a while since this man has had to care for a five year old, but Ranger's family consists of men. No little girls who like princesses and pretend and pink. And I think the angels were watching out for him that night, because B came in all kinds of excited. She wasted no time in introducing Ranger's dad to all the stuffed animals she'd brought for entertainment. Or informing him that she'd brought movies to watch or that she was doing such-n-such in school. Completely at ease. Which is a big deal, for B. I could hear the sigh of relief in his voice when he said "yeah, she'll be just fine here." And I sighed, too. Not because I was worried about anything, but because it meant so much to me that he was worried. Silly, I know. Must be a mom thing. And when we got back, in the wee hours of the morning, there she was, all tucked in, with every stuffed animal lying next to her.
But it doesn't end there! My original plans for the weekend included making frosting to teach a cake decorating class early the next morning. And since those plans changed, I had just resolved to buying some icing the next morning. And Ranger was going to be out and about so he agreed to grab some for me so that I could get ready for the class. And then he got held up helping family out. So I was all ready to go take an immediate trip to the store, get what I needed and nix the shower until after the class (yeah, sorry. TMI). I started asking Ranger's dad if he'd watch B (who was still asleep) while I ran to the store to get the things, and instead, he dropped everything and went and got icing for me. And decorator bags. And he had a busy day ahead of him, too! I still feel guilt for having him help me, honestly. I hope he doesn't think I used or manipulated him. Or his son. The morning was complicated, and it very easily could have been a terrible day, but it wasn't. And full credit to that goes to Ranger's dad. I don't think he'll ever understand (mostly because I can never express) how much that meant to me. It wasn't "this is your project, you do it." Something needed done, so he did it. And then apologized because Ranger was held up. Seriously! When I feel guilty for needing his help, HE apologizes.
I have met very few men that hold such caliber. Such quiet strength. Such dignity. What an awesome man. No wonder he's Ranger's hero.