My husband and I spent the weekend visiting our son. He’s a freshman in college and we managed to schedule our visit the weekend before midterms, just when his full, challenging schedule could have benefited from a weekend of study time.
But he didn’t use that as an excuse.
Instead, he worked hard before we arrived.
He figured out what needed to be done and how to get it done without the extra study time.
He talked to his professors and let them know he was juggling a parent visit with midterms and papers and asked for guidance… and got it.
He was 100% present with us the entire weekend.
He wasn’t worrying about what he wasn’t doing.
He wasn’t distracted or cranky or wishing he was someplace else.
He made us his priority despite how busy he was and we knew it.
The message was as wholehearted as the feeling it conveyed.
He made us feel special and loved all the way down to the core.
What a gift.
It made me think about how no one is really too busy to pay attention to the people they love. It’s just a matter of priority.
It also made me think about all of the times throughout his life that I used “busy” as an excuse; wasting precious time by multi-tasking or only half listening or by not being fully present.
I never meant to convey anything but the message I most want him to know… the message that he is special and loved all the way to the core of his very being. But sometimes, I messed up.
But he didn’t.
My children have consistently taught me more than I could ever hope to teach them and even though they are currently living thousands of miles away it seems they’re still in the game of educating their mom.
This weekend my son helped me learn that instead of using busy as an excuse we can decide we have time. We can decide that being with ours kids, parents, partner or friends is the most important thing we are doing. We can decide to make sure they know they are special and loved all the way to the core of their being. And we can do this with the simple yet profound gift of wholehearted attention.