It’s 60 degrees in January. Not normal for Ohio by any means. I’ve picked the boys up from school and plan on getting some work around the house done after losing my weekend to a business trip. I’m ready to head to the garage when my oldest son comes up with a football in hand. “It’s a great day for playing catch huh dad?” I look at my watch, daylight is wasting on the project I have stacked up in the garage. “Okay, five minutes” I reply. The five minutes are painful as I count all the other things I could be doing in my head. Then my youngest comes out to join us. He grabs the ball and tosses it with two hands like a toddler would; the only problem is that he’s 5. And I quickly realize in all my busyness I’ve neglected to teach my son how to throw and catch a ball.
Why does the world tell us the ideal life is to have a house, family, kids, and a dog then in the same breath it doesn’t allow us to enjoy them?
Why is this the expectation of society? We want a CEO who’s married with kids, a house, and goes to church, but if they spend more time caring for family than hours in the office they aren’t earning their salaries.
There’s something about busyness that keeps us going. You talk to a stay-at-home mom and you’d think they don’t sleep. There’s soccer practice and piano lessons sandwiched between library book club and laundry. Then there’s that moment where I’m sitting on the couch going through papers and my oldest son just comes and sits next to me. Frustrated at him disturbing my train of thought I bark “What do you want”. “I just want to be with you” comes the soft reply. How do you respond? What do you do?
This past week my boys had a Monday off for a holiday. Since I didn’t have to take them to school, I hurried into the office to get a jump on the week while my wife dropped them off at daycare. The hours sped by and I really can’t tell you what I got accomplished. When my wife called at 6pm to let me know she was headed home, I simply asked “Can you swing by the office and we’ll grab something to eat as a family?”. This way I could say I spent time with the family, yet still turn around and head back to the office. For some reason working hard to support my family was more important than the time spent with them. I hate that about myself.
I hate it when I get caught up in all the tasks that life has for me that I take for granted what matters most. I’d be lost without them. Without my boys who just want to wrestle on the carpet or my dog who reminds me I don’t walk him enough. I’d feel incomplete without all of it. There’s only a few hours to spend with my boys between work and bedtime. And it’s just having reminders like throwing a ball to remind me how important and fleeting those moments are.