Before becoming a parent I thought I understood the term. After all, life is full of distractions for every single one of us. But kids bring a particularly insistent type of distraction.
When I was a kid, having to buckle my pants after a trip to the bathroom was a distraction. As a teen, having to check in with my parents after the movie was a distraction. As a university student classes were the distraction *cough* *cough* don’t judge me *cough*. As a newbie in the workforce getting to bed at a reasonable hour was a distraction.
As a parent, distraction is every moment, of every day. Since I’ve sat to write this my 4-year old has insisted on my full attention to ask me:
“Daddy do you where the gums is?”
And let me know:
“His gums are orange and his gums are blue. We’re having a gum fight. Blag Blag Gah Goouh!”
My kids demand my attention. Cameron wants to show me his race car I’ve seen 1,000 times. Gavin wants me to see his sleep toy, and (equally important) to agree that it’s still his.
“Mine? Mine.” He says to me with all the pride a 2-year old can muster while holding a faded, snot-covered, stuffed penguin.
Please, please just give me a minute to read this article, check my Facebook feed or write an email. Just a minute. Please.
Deep breath. In a few years those race cars will be in a box. Waddles the snot-covered penguin will be on a shelf, and my boys will be more interested in their Xbox than their Dad.
My boys don’t distract me from the things that are important. They remind me that they are the ones that are important. The distractions of my youth pulled me away from the life I thought I wanted to live. These distractions are the exact opposite. They remind me of the kind of life I want to live.
Thank you boys, I love you.