See that old, hot pink pony with dingy, frayed hair in the picture? That’s Busy. And there’s a story behind her which led to a lesson learned.
A few years ago, we took my daughter Bella to a thrift store where we told her she could buy any toy (one of the many reasons why I love thrift stores so much). Out of all the pretty, light-up, musical, soft and cuddly, knob and button-filled options, my two-year old chose that pony thing. Awesome.
When it came time to choose a name, she thought for a minute and then said this: “Busy.” Yup, BUSY. As in BUSY! That was definitely one of those “mom fail” moments right there. I immediately knew why she chose that name. I remember looking at my husband with shame and sadness.
BUT, in my defense, I had a good excuse.
I was working part-time from home that year, and with two little kids at home, who wouldn’t use that word like 100 times a day?
“Sorry, I can’t get you a another snack right now.”
“Bella, I’m really busy, please wait a few minutes.”
“Bella, I just told you that I’m busy. I have to send this email out right now.”
“Bella, I’m REALLY busy.”
Busy, busy, busy.
Who isn’t busy? Life is ALWAYS busy.
And let me tell you something, it just gets busier and busier.
So I learned an important lesson that day.
I needed to prioritize my life. Work was definitely important, but family should always come first.
Sometimes there’s those days that make it REALLY hard to feel like we’re putting our kids first. Seriously, I hear ya. You see, I have an online stopwatch that I use for work to track my time. And these types of days are the ones where I start my stopwatch and 0.2 seconds don’t go by before you kid wants a snack.
3.6 seconds later, your 2-year old is crying because your 6-year old hit her.
38.6 seconds later, a child got bit.
Then, a lovely 2.1 minutes go by before the 2-year old somehow got past the child-proof cupboard and grabbed the Spic n’ Span and is spraying it all over her and her sister and everything in her path.
That’s life with kids.
But, then you have the moments where they haven’t interrupted you for a while, and you’re worried about what could have happened. Did they find the chocolate cake in the fridge? Are they using the toilet like a Barbie pool again? Is permanent marker involved? And then you hear laughter in their room, and race up the stairs, bracing yourself for the disaster that is most definitely waiting for you around the corner. And then you see them, drawing TOGETHER. Nicely together. The writing is only on the paper and there’s no fighting or arguing.
Or when they come up to you out of the blue and give you a hug. Or you go to check on them and they managed to crawl into bed and put themselves down for a nap. And you brush aside their slightly sweaty hair and lightly kiss their soft warm cheek. These are great moments. These moments make all the other crappy moments worth it.
So the lesson I learned is this: Life is busy. It always will be. But our kids are only little once. So maybe we can try to be a little less busy when they need us.
It’s hard. Not only is life incredibly demanding, but our kids are also incredibly demanding, and in a really LOUD way, which makes it so much worse.
But at least for today, they NEED us.
One day they won’t.
And we’ll be able to be as busy as we want because we’ll have the silence that we so desperately wanted today.
But I bet that a part of us (even if it’s a small part) will miss the noise. The noise of having THEM.
We have them today.