While in the crowded waiting room at an appointment with my guys today, I noticed a beautiful young girl sitting next to her father. He was redlining a huge document. He had a serious and deliberate look on his face. Page by page he made corrections. Scribbling notes. Flipping the page. Furiously working.
I was checking email. Voicemail. After all, it was during work hours and, though I hadn’t stopped for lunch, I was feeling guilty for taking the half hour to attend to the boys’ dental needs.
I heard the dad say, “I have too much work to do.”
And then, the girl’s whisper stopped me in my tracks.
Why don’t you just tell them, “no?”
And then, without even looking up, he answered. His response was like a punch in the stomach. “I’m responsible for everything. You just don’t understand.”
And I think he was right. She didn’t. She sat, staring ahead. Holding back tears.
I am not going to sit here (while my kids want my attention) and say that I won’t ignore them, work too hard, take on too much.
I probably will.
But this will stick with me. And I’ll keep working on being more present and more available.