My kids built this snowman last weekend. I was ready to head home from my parents’ farm, but after winding up my visit with my mom and dad, I came outside to find my four kids and six of their younger cousins up to their elbows in snow. There was much laughing and debating and fussing with details until everyone was satisfied. They all seemed quite pleased with themselves, and had a good time playing together; and I was glad that instead of hurrying my kids home, I let them stay a bit longer and enjoy time with the others.
“Busy-itis” distracts us. I had things to do at home, but I didn’t need to rush home to do them. Those things would still be waiting for me when I got there. Our society bombards us with messages that tell us, subtly and not-so-subtly, that if we aren’t busy, then we aren’t important, we aren’t contributing, we aren’t significant. I don’t agree. Sometimes, we need to stop the busyness, catch our breath and enjoy the moment. Spending time listening to my kids as they work their way through some of life’s big questions takes priority over laundry and homework, because I don’t want the next few years go by in a blur. My kids are all teenagers now, and in only a year and a half, we will probably be preparing to help the oldest to move away to go to school. I don’t want to miss what’s happening now because I’m too distracted to actually be present. I have already learned the price of “busy-itis”, and it was a tough enough lesson that I don’t want to have to repeat it.
It was merely days before the snowman slumped into a soft pile of slush, adorned with a few lingering decorations. A week later, I’m still thinking about him, so I’m glad I let my kids stick around to build him. They had fun, and I got a good reminder about remembering what’s really important.