This past weekend I raked leaves with my two girls. One’s 3, the other is 18 months.
Truth be told, I raked the leaves and they played in them. My intent in going out to rake leaves, really was to rake leaves, not to play. Our property is filled with trees and leaves cover our front yard from the beginning of October till whenever I get the job done. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the whole yard with my two side kicks in tow, but I figured I could at least get a portion of the yard cleared.
Since our yard is decent size I rake the leaves into little piles throughout the yard. Then I go back through with a tarp and rake the piled leaves on the tarp and drag them to the back of the house to dump them.
As soon as my first tarp load was full, Kate my oldest came running across the yard and jumped into the large pile. Since Emma wants to do everything her sister does, she followed suit. At first I was going to ask them to get out since “daddy was working.” But their interaction, giggles and smiles were to precious to squash. So, I pulled the tarp to the back of house with them in it.
By the time we reached our destination their giggles turned into all out laughter. Kate looked up at me and said with wide eyes, “This is like a hay ride.” As you can imagine, that afternoon, this was the first of many “hay rides” through our front yard.
In the balancing act of parenthood, work-life and responsibility, I value productivity and efficiency. I like to get things done and feel accomplished. But when doing chores with a 3 year old and an 18 month old, productivity goes out the window. However, what I was reminded of in raking leaves this past weekend was that maybe productivity isn’t always the most important thing. Perhaps being present to the moment and the people around you is.
What normally would have taken me 45 minutes to complete took well over 2 hours. But what I received in the end was something far greater than feeling “accomplished.” I received an afternoon of joy and delight with my girls that would have never happened otherwise if I was solely focused on getting things done.
Where are you too focused on “getting things done?”
Where do you need to slow down and be present to the moment?