Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Man Cave: The First Ten

Regular Man Cave readers already know I'm big on spending as much time with kids as possible in order to seize teaching opportunities when they occur. Since it's the kids who choose them they can be tough to predict, but I've found certain moments to be more likely than others.

Especially the first ten.

I remember the days when my kids were young. I would arrive home from work, open the door, and they would come bounding towards me ready to share their day. Before I knew it they were older, and most of the time they weren't even there when I returned from work. It was usually me greeting them at the door when they got home from their after-school activities. The result, however, was the same: for those first few moments they were eager to share their day with me.

The clock was ticking, and I had ten minutes.

There were times I had my hands full with some task, and put off breaking away until I was at a convenient stopping point. It was always a mistake. Once those first ten minutes had past their excitement faded, and their interest in sharing vaporized. I had failed to seize the moment.

I soon learned that the kids arriving home was the stopping point, no matter what. They got my full attention for those first few, precious, minutes. Because I made the "first ten" a priority, I learned a lot about my kid's lives that I don't think I would have learned at any other time; situations at school or with friends, insights into teachers or peers, personal struggles and triumphs.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that the "first ten" are just as important with your spouse. There is something magical about that moment of reunion that makes people open up to one another.

1 comment:

  1. That is so true. I used to plan my evening on the drive home from work, but in that first ten minutes everything would change. The needs and activities of my children came first.