The other day, I was listening to one of the Catholic podcasts that I keep up with, and in discussing parenting, one of the hosts mentioned our ultimate goal as parents: to do our very best in raising our children to achieve heaven. For them to be a saint.
They were discussing that in so many instances, it's easy for us as parents to become absorbed in our tasks, and feel that every child-led interruption is a nuisance. You know.
"Mommy, can I ask you a question?"
"Why does the moon follow the car?"
"It doesn't really follow the car Sweetie, it just looks like it does. Why don't you ask Daddy about it?"
"Mommy? Can I ask you a question?"
"What are you doing?"
"Mixing some things for dinner, Honey."
"Can I help you? I like to eat some of the grated cheese"
The first interruption or so you can handle, but at about interruption #17, you start to lose your patience. It happens to the best of us.
So, on this podcast, the host noted that she tried to stop what she was doing and ask herself, "is my attitude/reaction/behavior helping my child to get to heaven?" I thought about that for a long time, and this was a very humbling analysis for yours truly. :) SO often, especially after work when I'm TIRED and have a bunch of things to do (put work items away, change clothes, start dinner, pick up scattered toys...) I shoo Hank away when he's trying to get my attention. Lately, I've been trying to stop myself before responding to him.
Is what I'm doing at that moment really all that important? Almost every single time, NO.
Would me neglecting his needs right now help my son to be a saint? NO.
It's a good exercise, and humbling in every instance. I'm going to ask myself this question a lot more from now on.