The other night (or morning, depending on your perspective) Dillon comes bounding into our bedroom looking to crash for the evening. He informed Kendra she could take Ethan with her and sleep in his bottom bunk. He was looking for some time with just dad. I lay there for a few minutes trying to manage my reaction to this… I certainly was not excited about being startled awake, but I had to take a moment to really grasp what was happening. With all the activities and chaos that consume my daily schedule, I had scarcely had time to devote individual attention to my children. From moving halfway across the country and then moving again from the rental to this house to having a new addition to the family, our kids have had to manage a ton of change. We contintue to be impressed by how well they seem to be adjusting, but this particular evening gave me a glimpse at what was truly beneath Dillon’s patient exterior: he just desperately needed some quiet time.
All three boys have been fantastic big brothers; they are constantly concerned with making sure Ethan is comfortable or has what he needs. They often stop what they are doing if he cries to try to lend a hand. They always ask to hold him and help out with tummy time. There has been no indication of jealousy or resentment. I think that we have been so relieved with how things have transitioned that we have given our remaining attention to the details of maintaining the house and keeping all the plates spinning at work. Dillon helped me to realize that we still have three other boys we need to dote on and have special time with. This is a humbling lesson that I had not thought I would have to learn, but as I honestly reflect on the last several weeks it has been quite convenient for me to lump the boys together in some activity and use the time with all of them as my “family time”. This is a cop out. I refuse to continue down this path. My four-year-old should not have to wake himself up in the middle of the night in order to spend some quality time with his father.
Dillon and I took a trip to grab breakfast for the family… it was a simple trip and it took all of about 25 minutes, but it allowed me to connect with him in a way that we had not been able to in a long while. My committment to him and to Jaden and to Logan (Ethan tends to find ways to get alone time) is to continue to find little ways to spend bigger and bigger slices of time together that are individually significant. This time slips by so quickly, and we only get one chance to try to parent these guys. I want to make the most of the time I have in front of them while my opinion still matters and while they still see hanging out with me as a “cool” thing to do. The sands in the hour glass don’t pause… family has to remain the higher priority over the distractions of life… hopefully I can stay on track and we can find enough time in the day for our dedicated time, and we can all go back to sleeping peacefully at night.
Thanks for coming along for the ride… Kiss your kids!