13 Nov The power of time
From the moment my two year old opened his eyes on Friday morning, he was moaning and miserable. He was whining about everything that normally wouldn’t bother him at all. The weather was as bleak as he was and rain was forecast for most of the day. Like most mothers probably would, I wondered how we’d make it through the day without world war three breaking out in our house.
By 4:30pm that afternoon, as I sat on a park bench with him at my side, happily munching his peanuts and playing ‘I spy’, I reflected on how much better the day had gone than I had expected it to. You see, when a two year old wakes up grumpy, his mood tends to infect most other people in the house and generally progresses from bad to worse. Such a little body can spread some seriously negative energy! Sitting on that park bench with a little boy in a totally different mood to the one he’d been in earlier that day made me wonder what had happened to lift the dark clouds he’d woken up with. The answer was so simple. Time.
Mostly, when I have a long list of things to get done, I try get them done when the little guy is at play group or I’ll leave him at home with his Gogo or try entertain him with colouring in or a puzzle (this usually doesn’t distract for too long before he wants me to sit on the floor and join in). My main reason for this is to get as much done in the fastest possible time. On Friday, this would have been my preferred approach, but after much nagging and many tears, he was clipped into his seat in the back of my car and off we went. His dark cloud started lifting from the moment I put on his favourite CD and we both started singing along to the familiar songs. He later enthusiastically pushed his little trolley around the hardware store, helped me choose candles for his dad’s birthday cake and offloaded groceries, insisting the relatively heavy bags were not too heavy for him. He wanted to be helpful and acknowledged and appreciated. We took a bit longer to get everything done than if he hadn’t been with me, but what is 20 minutes when your little boy looks at you with such love and appreciation?
I realised again that afternoon that the time I invest in him is invaluable. His confidence grows with each word of affirmation, his happiness becomes contagious and the love and affection he shows is a reflection of what he feels in those moments. Quality time with this wonderful little guy is not something to be squeezed in somewhere on my to-do list. It is what God has given me this time for.