John Lennon said Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. As a mom, I’m understanding this more and more. When I have an afternoon with my kids, going to the grocery store is not just an errand for me but an adventure for the kids. An opportunity to explore. That is life. If I am not in a rush, cold, exhausted, impatient or [insert adjective] I delight in watching my toddler’s experience whether it is climbing up a brownstone’s steps or jumping over a crack in the sidewalk.
This also means that a simple trip to the nearby store can take significantly more time than one might anticipate so less important things may not get accomplished, a call to a friend, an email return, [insert a task that regularly slips through the cracks].
And when I do have time to follow up with someone, I don’t necessarily want to engage in a long detailed conversation so I may cue a child to cry. Instead of replying to specific and lengthy emails, I’ll cite a crying munchkin even if both are out at the park. It’s just that life is fast and I’m learning I cannot do it all as thoroughly as I might like. I’m trying.
Sometimes I feel badly using the phantom excuses with other moms because she has kids and time restraints too and if she is making time to reach out to me, I should do the same. Yet, sometimes I think my responsibilities are more demanding for no other reason than they are mine and they always seem to be looming. As a result, I’ll often wait for a real interruption to cut short a conversation.
Not a very close friend, but a friend nonetheless, just emailed me that her grandfather died. I had known he was sick and intended to reach out to her, but well a walk to the grocery evolved into two hour expedition and a visit to the park with a full on tantrum, and [insert relatable dramatic time vacuum] I did not get around to it. She’s a mom of one so hopefully she understands how two kids can be consuming.I’d write more about some things that have fallen through the cracks but my son is crying for his bottle.
This was previously published on the now defunct NYC Moms Blog