I was finally free. After my many attempts at updating my blog throughout the day had been thwarted by my two-year old professional distractor, it was time, at last. I could breathe deep, soak in the silence, sit at the computer, and write without interruption.
One keystroke into my blog post, I heard the door creak open in forewarning that the third escape attempt was now underway. Soon enough, the little escapee was tugging at my pant leg, staring me into compliance with his heart-melting teddy bear eyes. “Mommy, I need you!” How could I resist?
Since he was a baby, I’ve cuddled him to sleep every night. Usually, I wait for him to be completely knocked out before I tiptoe away. And sometimes, I abide at least three Mommy I Need You rounds before he’s officially “out.”
That night, I wasn’t so patient. I plopped him in the high chair, turned on some sure-to-put-him-to-sleep music, handed him a sippy cup, and returned to the blogosphere. Convinced he was finally asleep after several minutes of quiet, I turned to find him peering around the back of his highchair, just staring at me with those eyes as if to say, “What on that screen could possibly be more interesting and important than me?”
There are days I get so involved in the tasks before me that I forget the most important thing is to be involved in the lives of those I love. My computer screen may be calling me. A million important tasks might be screaming my name. But love is calling me to be involved in what’s most important. At the end of my life, do I want it to be said that I was very involved in the task at hand? No. I want to be known for being committed to the work of love.
It won’t be long enough that my kids are saying, “Mommy, I need you.” And even beyond those years of them saying they need me, I want to show them I love them by being involved in their lives—meeting their deepest needs for quality time, even if it means sacrificing my own plans.
“My whole life I complained that my work was being interrupted until I realized that the interruptions were my work.” (Henri Nouwen)