But this past week, our local amusement park opened for the weekend for a sneak peek into the summer. We had planned on going for a ‘couple of hours,’ but our ‘couple of hours’ turned into about 5 or so. We were just having so much fun, we didn’t want to stop.
On the drive home, as Lil Man was sleeping, I was reflecting on the day. Other than a few disagreements, most of the day had been truly pleasant without attitude or arguing. So what’s so different about going to the amusement park versus the days when we are home or out running errands?
It was like a smack in the head – an aha moment – a duh! Lil Man had my attention and I wasn’t distracted with other responsibilities. I was engaged. Other than the occasional post on social media or sending pictures to family as we were waiting in line, I was focused on Lil Man and what was happening around us.
I felt a pain of guilt as the truth hit me full force. When we are home, my attention is divided between Lil Man, the laundry, the dishes, preparing meals, paying bills, writing, and sometimes just surviving the day. When I’m at the amusement park or the pool, my attention and focus are on Lil Man. I have more patience because I’m not distracted by other things.
I know the reality is laundry has to get done, floors eventually need vacuumed and toilets need scrubbed, but I want my focus to be on my son. I want to end the day feeling like I do when we go to the amusement park or the pool – fun and feeling accomplished that I spent some quality time and bonded with my son.
Floors, laundry, bills and other things can wait – my relationship with my son can’t.