Time and Attention

Every morning, before my driver drops me to office, we stop by the school of my 5 year old son, Reuben, and drop him as well. I sit in the co-driver’s seat and Reuben sits at the back. He looks out of the window most of the time and minds his own business, while I am deep in thought planning the day that lies ahead of me.

A couple of weeks ago, Reuben asked me if he could sit on my lap on the front seat. I usually don’t allow it for safety reasons. But since we do not encounter a highway on the way to his school there is not much traffic. So I let him sit on my lap with my seat belt on and my arms locked around him, just in case.

With Reuben in my arms I really could not continue planning my day and we ended up have a conversation as we were drove. He enjoyed the drive that day and I did too. It was a much better way to start my day. And I guess he felt the same.

The next day we did the same thing, and pretty soon it became a routine. He would run out to the car with his school bag and water bottle and start prancing about the co-driver’s door till I opened it and let myself in. He would then jump in and onto my lap, as if it was the most existing thing to do in the world. In reality, to him, it was. And slowly I began to realize it.

Work takes up most of my time. And when I am home, I am mostly helping my wife with our other son, Russell, a one year old who is perpetually in a bad mood, thanks to his teething. I do keep time for Reuben on weekends. I take him fishing, sometimes go for a bike ride or take him to the movies. But this daily morning drive to his school has made me think.

Reuben’s need for my time and attention is not a tap that can be turned off on weekdays and let open on weekends. He needs my time and attention every single day of the week. And I really don’t have to do something elaborate like go fishing with him. Just conversing with him while he sits on my lap for a five minute drive to his school gives him unimaginable joy.

This has nothing to do with CAD software. But I don’t know. I just felt like sharing this with you.

  • Dora Smith

    Thx for sharing Deelip. I have often felt the same rushed sense in the morning – just wanting to get my day going and get things accomplished. I lose patience at the repeated requests to my 5-yr-old to “please get your shoes on.” You’re right – the need for time and attention can’t be turned off just because mom or dad has work to do. So I cherish the days I’m able to walk the kids to school. Just a few extra, unrushed minutes in the stroller where we can talk or just be together quietly makes the best start to their day – and mine.

  • Dora Smith

    Thx for sharing Deelip. I have often felt the same rushed sense in the morning – just wanting to get my day going and get things accomplished. I lose patience at the repeated requests to my 5-yr-old to “please get your shoes on.” You’re right – the need for time and attention can’t be turned off just because mom or dad has work to do. So I cherish the days I’m able to walk the kids to school. Just a few extra, unrushed minutes in the stroller where we can talk or just be together quietly makes the best start to their day – and mine.

  • Anonymous

    Please sit with him in the backseat so both of you can have seat belts on.

  • Anonymous

    Please sit with him in the backseat so both of you can have seat belts on.

  • Gabi Jack

    Thanks for sharing, Deelip! That was really sweet! I agree, though, you should both sit in the backseat, for safety reasons, but safety concerns aside, I do get the idea of why this little trip is so special for your son. This time and age, more than ever before, calls each one of us to do more, accomplish more, earn more, learn more, go further, get busier… just try to never be too busy to have a meaningful relationship with your wife and kids. In the end, everything else is worthless, mere trinket and treasure than will be soon enough forgotten or destroyed, but the time you give to your sons will go a long way, shaping their lives and even those of their own children. That’s an even bigger purpose and legacy. Enjoy your kids! 🙂

  • Gabi Jack

    Thanks for sharing, Deelip! That was really sweet! I agree, though, you should both sit in the backseat, for safety reasons, but safety concerns aside, I do get the idea of why this little trip is so special for your son. This time and age, more than ever before, calls each one of us to do more, accomplish more, earn more, learn more, go further, get busier… just try to never be too busy to have a meaningful relationship with your wife and kids. In the end, everything else is worthless, mere trinket and treasure than will be soon enough forgotten or destroyed, but the time you give to your sons will go a long way, shaping their lives and even those of their own children. That’s an even bigger purpose and legacy. Enjoy your kids! 🙂

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, Anonymous is right. We tried the back seat. But he wanted to sit on my lap even there. I even tried driving the car with him as co-driver with the driver in the back seat. But he didn’t feel the same. I guess he simply wants me to wrap my arms around him.

    But I agree, I should do something about this.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, Anonymous is right. We tried the back seat. But he wanted to sit on my lap even there. I even tried driving the car with him as co-driver with the driver in the back seat. But he didn’t feel the same. I guess he simply wants me to wrap my arms around him.But I agree, I should do something about this.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Hi Deelip,
    I’m with the others, back seat please.

    All times with your children are both important and precious and must be savored and am I pleased you are enjoying this time enough to share your thoughts.

    Family is very important, I am lucky enough to have my son working alongside me now (he is 33). In earlier times we raced small sail boats together. He started racing as my crew whilst he learnt (two seasons) then he became the skipper and I the crew: that meant of course I had to take orders, from my son, whilst the racing.

    Being able to teach and then hand over responsibility to a pre-teen age person and enjoy the experience was very rewarding. Racing is racing and Andrew was competing with people much older than himself and it was always great to beat my companions with my son at the helm and much younger.

    I have been very lucky with my kids; I hope yours will be as rewarding.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Hi Deelip,I’m with the others, back seat please.All times with your children are both important and precious and must be savored and am I pleased you are enjoying this time enough to share your thoughts.Family is very important, I am lucky enough to have my son working alongside me now (he is 33). In earlier times we raced small sail boats together. He started racing as my crew whilst he learnt (two seasons) then he became the skipper and I the crew: that meant of course I had to take orders, from my son, whilst the racing.Being able to teach and then hand over responsibility to a pre-teen age person and enjoy the experience was very rewarding. Racing is racing and Andrew was competing with people much older than himself and it was always great to beat my companions with my son at the helm and much younger.I have been very lucky with my kids; I hope yours will be as rewarding.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for taking the time to share what is so important in life. Your grasp of that importance is what makes you such a great parent. I get the feeling that your sons will grow up to be just like their dad. With that thought, the world will be a better place.

    Dave
    Cascade Advanced Design

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for taking the time to share what is so important in life. Your grasp of that importance is what makes you such a great parent. I get the feeling that your sons will grow up to be just like their dad. With that thought, the world will be a better place.DaveCascade Advanced Design