Squeezing in the Urgent
“Hey, Pop, look at these three books I got from school. You want to read them with me?”
Before I could think, I said, “Not right now. Pop’s busy.”
Then I thought better of my answer. He might leave for home before I finished my work. The day had been long and busy. Two times during the week, I missed my planning period at school, which put me behind on grading papers, making lesson plans, and doing other things I normally have done by the time I leave school. My work came home with me.
When I told him, “No,” I saw and heard his disappointment. He slouched from the room. I quickly called him back. “Come on, buddy, we’ll read them now.” The smile on his face let me know I’d made the right decision.
Being familiar with so many kids who hate to read, I sure didn’t want to extinguish my oldest grandson’s love for it. He slipped his three small books from a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and scrambled onto my lap. Several of the words in each sentence were small words he could read independently. A picture accompanied the larger words. When he didn’t know a word, we sounded out the phonics I had taught him over the summer. Excitement peppered his face when he got it right.
After we finished the first book, he retrieved the second…and then the third. What I thought I didn’t have time for only took about 10 minutes, and doing it made my grandson the happiest little boy in the world.
When we finished our reading time, I realized what I had to do wasn’t urgent. Life is brief, and I don’t have time to do everything I want to or everything everybody else wants me to. All I have time for is what God wants me to do.
I remind myself often that these grandchildren who want so much of my time now will soon be middle schoolers, teens, and adults whose lives will get busy. When this happens, other people and things will become more urgent than I am. So, I enjoy what little time I have with them now.
I’ve discovered some things that seem essential aren’t important. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important in your life.
If you enjoyed this, you might like, Reading With Your Child.
Martin Wiles writes from South Carolina.