This summer I had come home from work, per usual, greeted by the hugging arms of the little man. I talked to my wife for a few minutes, set down my bags, was going to change my clothes and then do, I don’t know, it probably wasn’t important, when our son asked me if I could play with him.
“Well, sure I can,” I told him.
“You can?” he asked again. “You mean you’re not too busy to play with me?”
My heart sank.
How many times have I felt the frantic overwhelming grasp of too many things, too many deadlines, goals, responsibilities that I’ve just automatically used the excuse “I’m really busy,” be it with friends, family, co-workers, whomever.
But had it really gotten so bad that my three-year old son had to wonder with longing eyes if I was too busy to spend time and play with him?
I could see it in his eyes. If I had said “I’m busy” to him in the past, what I was essentially telling him as that what I was doing was more important than him.
Dear god, no. This was not how I want my life to play out. Absolutely not.
So it was at that moment I was reminded why I’m on this earth, what I leave behind. And that is our children.
“Of course I’m not too busy to play, buddy,” I told him, eliciting an exciting ‘yay!’ before he gave me some Duplos, or a Little People Batman or some toy. I can’t quite remember what it was. But I remember we had fun. We really did have fun, because I was in the moment. With him. I wasn’t trying to get on the computer, or look through papers for work, or try to write something for one of a myriad of projects that honestly don’t matter at all when compared to this little boy.
For the first time in a while, I was in that moment with him.
And it was then, in that moment of clarity, that I decided when I came home, the rest of the world goes away. Work, smartphone, writing, house projects (that’s what naptimes and post bedtimes are for 🙂 ) – seriously, turn them off and put them away. It all can wait. What can’t is the time of our lives when our children will want/crave to be around us to interact with us, to spend time with us.
I want to be a part of that for as long as possible. Everything else be damned. That other stuff I’ll find time at some point. For him, that time is now.