Yesterday afternoon after I was home from the office, my wife handed me Claire, my daughter, to hold while she fixed supper. It wasn’t long before Ty, my son, came climbing into my lap. He is a little jealous for his daddy’s attention and affection. He brought a book with him for me to read to the three of us. I read them a Dr. Seuss book, “Are you my mother?” It is a cute book that Ty really enjoys. After I finished reading that book and Ty was off to retrieve his Bible story book for us to read, I looked at our floor. Completely covered in toys. I mean how does a 2-year-old and infant make such a mess? I am not a clean freak, but I like things somewhat organized and straightened. My poor wife would get nothing done most days if all she did was pick up what Ty drags out.
But as I sat there, I was thinking about what that mess meant in our life. It meant that we have 2 healthy and active children. They are both somewhat mobile as well as active. Children are not born with a sense of tidiness, but have kind of a destructive nature. Especially BOYS!!! But as much as I would love to have a tidy straightened house, I want my two small children more.
I then reflected on what life would be like if we didn’t have children. Honestly, because of the sleep deprivation, I can barely remember what it is like. But I would have more time for projects which I enjoy. I would have more energy for running and weightlifting which I enjoy. I could travel with ease. My wife and I could enjoy quiet evenings and get full nights rest. But all that pales in comparison to the love we have for Claire and Ty. I still get to do the things I enjoy, but not at the convenience I would prefer. No one becomes a parent because it is convenient. Just about everything about parenting is inconvenient.
As Ty crawled into my lap and started flipping the book open to his favorite Bible stories for me to read, all the things that I enjoy to do didn’t matter. Because in the moment of holding my beautiful children and reading to them, the only thing that mattered was the time I shared with them. In that moment, Amy got a small break from the constant time she tries to wrangle them all day long. She does a wonderful job of it too. We were all together, no one was crying, and we were happy being in each others presence, even though the floor was covered with toys and junk.
Seeing the beautiful in a difficult situation is a choice. You have to set your mind and eyes on the things that matter, otherwise the petty things will drive you crazy. Be present in your home and be intentional with your children. They don’t stay little very long.
What do you need to let go of today so you can focus on what really matters? How are you navigating raising children? I have no clue what I am doing, so I would love to hear what is working for you!
Grace and Peace to you as you slow down and focus on the important things of life.