This I Believe

Ray - Horseheads, New York
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Take the Time

I believe in taking the time to enjoy my children. I believe in adjusting priorities and making the time to experience my sons no matter the cost, before they’re gone.

The most important job I face as an adult is that of being a parent. Providing love and security are paramount. Providing food and shelter is not to be taken lightly. Giving of my time, even when it’s inconvenient, is one of the most valuable gifts I can give.

The dishes may have to wait. The laundry can pile up. The front yard will survive just fine if it’s not mowed for another day or two. Taking the time out of my busy schedule to throw a baseball, play a game, or just go for a bike ride with my boys far outweigh any chore that awaits me. Those routine jobs will still be there, nagging me to get completed after I’ve spent some time with my boys.

A very wise man once told me: “When your children are grown they won’t say ‘We didn’t see much of our Dad while growing up but we had some really neat stuff”. What they will say is ‘We never saw our Dad because all he did was work.” That is sad. My children need me, not things, to help them grow as people. So, I can tell my boss with a clear conscience “No Thanks” when he offers some overtime, and tell him that I already have plans to hang out with my three sons. He’ll understand. He’s a family man also.

Children are precious things that grow and change daily. I’ll never be able to get back the moments or events that I miss unnecessarily. Before I know it, they’ll be off to college and then starting families of their own. There’s no turning back the clock and there are rarely second chances, so I make it a point to step away from the computer, turn off the TV, let the dishes sit in the sink and put my cell phone in a drawer. I give of myself and my time to my kids every chance I get. If there is no time, I make it, because it’s the right thing to do.

I believe I make a difference in spending time with my sons. And I will do so as long as they’ll have me.