Caleb had been asking me to color with him all day. From the moment he woke, through breakfast, after some academics, and through the morning.
Mom, can you color with me?
I kept telling him those dreaded and over-used mom words – in a minute – and continued on with my work. What I deemed important for those morning minutes. The dishes were unloaded, and the counter wiped, and the room tidied. I vacuumed the carpet and hung coats. I was feeling great. Accomplished.
Till I looked at the table and saw Caleb. Sitting there.
Mom, can you color with me, now?
I looked around. There were still more things to be done. After all, the top of the piano still had books on it, and there was a rug to be shaken out, of course math to teach, lunch to figure out, and I still needed to get Samuel out of his pajamas. I had so much work that I thought I needed to do.
There he was – coloring away – looking up every once in a while wondering if I would come.
Mom, can you color with me? Please?
The cleaning wasn’t done.
The list of things to do would have to stay unfinished.
Because at that moment I put down the list and picked up the real important list. Instead of focusing on everything that was important to me, I began to focus on what was important to my five-year old copper haired little boy sitting at the table. Waiting.
And then his important became my important.
The cleaning waited.
Because we colored.
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