A recent Instagram post of mom and child by the beach illustrates that the best things in life are never "urgent."
“Go for a ride in my pink car,” my two-year-old piped. I turned around and grinned. There she stood still in her pajamas, bright pink sunglasses on upside down, sparkly toy purse in one hand and naked doll in the other, and to complete the ensemble, shoes on the wrong feet. I looked at the baby sound asleep in the bouncy seat, which would offer me time to sneak outside and pull my toddler around in her toy car. But then, there were clean dishes to put away. And then I saw this in my Instagram feed:
If not for the post above by my friend Molly, the dishes likely would have triumphed. I’m glad I read through her post because otherwise I would’ve told my two-year-old that her car would have to wait since I wanted to clean up the kitchen. Instead, I opted for some “carefree timelessness,” threw on my flipflops, and we headed out front for a morning joy ride.
A wife and mother to three little boys, Molly shared her experience about learning the importance of quality time with her family. Her post features a vibrant picture of her holding her toddler son in front of a peaceful ocean skyline, and she talks about Matthew Kelly’s book, Building Better Families. “He talks about the importance of planning for ‘carefree timelessness’ with your kids,” she writes.
So much of our time as parents consists of “running around.” There is a steady stream of urgent tasks always awaiting completion and we drag our little ones around as we attempt to cross each item off the list. The truly important things, though – those things that infuse our lives with joy, passion and purpose – are seldom urgent. “From time to time we need to step away from all the seemingly urgent things in order to discover and attend to the things that matter most,” Molly writes. She goes on to explain that after losing her brother at a young age, “what I wanted was more ‘time.’”
Not time to do one more grocery run or throw in another load of laundry. Time to just be with him, free of cares and urgencies. Matthew Kelly describes carefree timelessness as having “nothing to achieve other than the enjoyment of each other’s company.”
I was blessed on that rare morning when my little girl approached me at an opportune time for some carefree timelessness. Usually though, carefree timelessness is something we need to plan for periodically because life doesn’t slow down until we make it happen. I’ve felt my love for her intensify and my gratitude for her deepen since I started planning time solely for her and my enjoyment of one another. They’re precious moments that aren’t about teaching her anything or killing time before I can put her down for a nap; they’re solely for allowing time, without keeping track of it, to bring us closer together. And it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been reminded through Molly’s post that, “the best things we can do for our children are almost never urgent.”
So pencil in some carefree timelessness and allow yourself to just be with your loved ones, with your sole intention to remain free of cares and distractions just for a little while. It may not be urgent, but is it is so vital for a joy-filled, purposeful life.