Blog by Mitchell Qualls, Relationship EducatorWhen I dropped my daughter off at preschool this morning, she asked me to stay and read. As a busy parent, I needed to get to work, and I tried to explain that to her. Of course, she’s 2 and was adamant in her request. The persistence of little children is astonishing…and exhausting. I gave in to her plea and sat on the floor with her to read one book, which turned into two. Our daddy-daughter time quickly attracted more 2-year-olds eager to listen. Did I have the time to sit for ten minutes and read? I didn’t think so at the time. Was it worth being a little late? Definitely!
As parents, we often get consumed by the whirlwind of demands on us. School, work, extracurricular activities, sports, social life - all these things tug at our time and often our kids suffer. I am guilty of this. The thing is, it doesn’t take lots of planning or effort to show them love. All it took today was 10 minutes in the floor with some 2-year-olds. Some days, it just takes letting her do my hair (scary, I know) while I read a book. Often, for my 6-year-old son, we just need to have a spontaneous nerf gun fight or play with beyblades or legos.
It may seem like we don’t always have time to do these little things, but we really can’t afford not to. Maybe it’s just me who feels like I am always pulled in different directions, but as I watched my 6-year-old walk into first grade today like a big boy, I remembered that time is passing quickly. My son and my daughter need my attention. If I want them to grow into amazing adults, I need to be intentional about devoting time to their needs at this age. I need to build the trust with them now that dad is always here and supports what they love.
As I sat there on the floor reading “Good Night Gorilla,” the worry about time disappeared. This little girl was the center of the world, dad was her hero, and the day began with a memorable moment - for both of us. She sent me off with a kiss and, “I love you,” in her sweetest voice.
Did I have the time to read this morning? I didn’t have time not to read.