Yesterday our daughter woke up from her nap and was sitting on my lap as she tried to fully wake up. All of a sudden she blurted out - I want someone to play with me! She was half awake, but wanting to get up and move right away. It was another one of those moments where sitting for a few minutes in between meetings and running around for work stuff would be nice, but also knowing that when my child wants to play, I needed to take advantage of that time together.
And I think that is a key to our relationships. it is easy to get into a rut - to sit around, do the same thing over and over again, and miss opportunities to get involved with the lives of friends and loved ones. We let the busy-ness of our lives get in the way of spending time, that precious time, with others. We let the world slip by, and 20 years from now we may regret not getting off the couch and playing.
The day before we had a wonderful spring day, really the first of the year, and I played all afternoon in the backyard with our daughter. At one point she decided to be the mom, I was the child, and she took me to school. Then she rushed to the edge of the deck, looked back at me and said, "I need to get to work fast, a grandfather died and I need to take care of him."
Two thoughts came rushing to me at that time. First was - I hope that is not how she sees me and the work I do here - having to rush away from the family all the time. Time with her has to be intentional - because it is so precious.
Second was - my dad, her grandfather, cannot play these games with her. He died last summer and she is going to miss getting to know this great man and the many gifts he had in life.
So, needless to say, when she said she wanted to play with someone yesterday, I got off the couch. We pulled out the legos and started to build all kinds of strange bridges, steps, and towers. We didn't have a lot of time, because I did need to go back to work for a meeting, but we spent that precious time together, playing.
Celebrate the time you have with your loved ones, however short or long it may be. Try and make the amends that need to be made - for who knows when that time may be gone. And always, take time to play.