"Mom, I need to tell you something," is what he'd say, and then he'd wait for me to reply:
"One second, buddy - I just need to finish this post." Or make a quick client call, switch the laundry or finish a nonsense political post I'm reading online. There was always something - and it was never quick. And I realized this when he mumbled dejectedly, "it's NEVER a second" - and the way I heard it was, "I'M second."
Since then, I've been working to break this habit he's developed, this "asking before asking" because I needed him to know that he's more important than those other things (than ALL other things).
So now I stop and listen (unless I'm on a client call, because that would be rude and my goal isn't to create a mannerless little monster). I put aside what I'm doing, look right at his still chubby child face and hear the most fantastic questions and observations of life EVER:
He's started a question journal (and I have too, to capture questions he asks when his journal isn't handy - as mine always is), and we spend time finding answers and exploring his observations further too. It's fun and it makes us both happy. Immensely happy.
The magical part? I honestly couldn't explain it, but my once frazzled existence is much calmer - and I have MORE time, not less. I'm also getting more done! And that applies to work, home, going places during the day and just having more time for all kinds of things in life all around. Someone really needs to explain this to me, if you can, because I truly feel like I found magic - and I wish I knew how to share it.
And now, when he slips up and says "Mom, I need to tell you something," I view it as a reminder to respect time and what it's teaching me - so when he "needs to tell" me something, I've been replying, "hey cool kid, you already did!" And I'm SO grateful for it.
I wonder what he'll tell me tomorrow?
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