Five of the children and I left the house this afternoon to run a fast errand, leaving the 7-year-old at home with his dad. As we were leaving, my husband pushed himself off of the couch and told our son, “We might as well go and get our hair cut while they’re out.”
Far from being upset by this turn of events, our boy hopped with pleasure and said, “Hooray! Time alone with Dad!” They went straight to the barber shop, and then came straight back home, but our son was beaming with pleasure as he skipped back through the door.
It wasn’t a big planned outing. It wasn’t even anything outside of our ordinary routines. The only difference was that this time they didn’t have anyone else with them.
Sometimes it seems as though we have to make a production out of things for them to be meaningful to our children, but mine keep reminding me that that’s not true. It’s not the event that they are craving, but the attention and time from their parents.
It was something I new well when I was a younger mother, but seem to have forgotten since my children grew older and my time grew more precious – those tedious, onerous errands that I always seem to be running are not only the burden that eats up my day, they are also the opportunity to whisk away just one child for some time alone with me (or their Dad.) The long to-do lists and endless driving offer us the chance to have uninterrupted conversations, marathon sing alongs, and grocery store dance parties.
I am reminded once again that the mundane and the boring are actually gifts – so commonplace that they don’t require my attention, but allow me to focus it on the things and people who really matter most, and then even haircuts become a treat.
photo credit: By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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