When you have kids the days are longer and years are shorter. When you look through the lens of a day, you feel like you have a lot of time to do something. When you look through the lens of years everything seems to have whizzed past in a top gear.
Oftentimes, we fail to realize this and keep postponing things to another day. Sadly, we do this to the kids assuming that they are always in front of our eyes during this pandemic anyway and we have plenty of time to spend with them – be it that chess game that they have been asking us to play with, or that board game, or watching their favourite movies with them, or reading books with them. We tend to prioritize our work ahead of our life and suddenly we realize and question ourselves – what the heck is going on?
I had such a moment this weekend. I have been putting off playing board games with my daughter. Not because of the lack of time but because I don’t like them much. She has been asking to watch a movie with her. I did watch a couple of them but mostly the films of my choice. She has been asking to do some craft activities with her, go cycling with her, etc.
I caught myself saying no too many times and took a moment to reflect and realize what’s going on. She has not been asking to play that specific game with her or watch a specific movie with her or do that specific craft with her. All she had been asking, rather screaming, was “Spend more time with me”. I have been doing the same activities with her that I have been doing for years now. Due to the pandemic and current situation in India, we are not allowing her to go down and play with her friends. We can’t go roaming either. There’s this additional time which has created a void. This void needs to be filled in with additional activities which I conveniently forgot.
So this weekend, when she asked me to read her a couple of chapters from her Diary of Wimpy Kid collection, I obliged. I read only two chapters. There were many occasions where she was laughing hard. Surprisingly, there were few places where I also laughed. It was silly but fun. Looking at us both, my two year old son, not knowing the reason for our laugh, happily started laughing too. He didn’t care why. He hasn’t read Simon Sinek yet.
It was a simple act of 15 minutes but made the kids happy. I am not going to lie. It made me happy too. When my wife came looking for us to understand the reason for the riot, I told her in a fake complaining tone, “She is making me read Wimpy kid to her”. And my daughter immediately countered, “I am so proud of you for doing that”.
That hit me hard. I started wondering if she had grown already and if I had lost the years one day at a time.