The other night I asked my brother if he wanted me to bring him home a drink from starbucks when I got off of work.
“Um, heck yes.”
“Well what do you want?”
“One of those chocolate things.. the ones that have mint and coffee.”
“Yeah, one of those.”
This afternoon when I clocked out I made a drink for my brother, and drove home only to find he wasn’t there anyway. I offered it to my mom.
“Whats in it?”
“Its a peppermint mocha. Chocolate, peppermint, a shot of espresso.”
“It has coffee? Its too late in the day, I can’t drink it right now.”
My dad asked me what was in it. I repeated myself.
“Papa, it will kill you. It has milk, chocolate, and coffee, all of which you’re allergic to.”
“Oh. Well go give it to Danielle.”
“Why the heck would I go walk over there and give it to our neighbor? I didn’t even know her name until you just said it.”
“Because its a way of building relationships.”
I set the mocha down on the coffee table. “Well, I’m not walking over there in the rain just to give Danielle a mocha. I’m taking a nap.”
As I’m changing out of my stale-milk smelling clothes, I hear my father put on his rain jacket.
“Are you going over there?”
Now I felt like crap. I get into bed as the front door opens and I hear the rain pouring outside. A couple minutes later, from my bedroom door I hear my mom chuckling.
“What happened?” I semi-yell from the back of the house.
“He’s coming back… with the mocha.”
My dad walks in the door.
“What happened?” I yell again.
“They weren’t home.”
“Well, nice try anyway…”
I hear the door open again.
“Where are you going this time?”
“I’m going to see if Paul’s home.”
“You’re going to go out again in the rain and walk down the street just to see if Paul’s home so you can give him a tall mocha?!”
I hear the door shut.
A few minutes later my dad returns, cold and wet.
“So what happened?”
“He took a while to answer. I thought he wasn’t home either. Then he answered.”
“What’d he say?”
“He said thanks, I appreciate that. And then he asked about our kitchen.”
My dad changed out of his rain coat, put on his slippers, and continued filing taxes on the computer.
As I lay in bed I realized my father had just taught me a valuable lesson. His selflessness revealed his inner motives- those of love, generosity, and character. That was normal to him. My motives were completely the opposite. There was no way in hell you would get me to walk down the street in the pouring rain after an 8 hour shift just to be nice and give someone a mocha instead of waste it. My dad didn’t think twice.
I thank God for that.