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.