Recently I’ve been repeatedly confronted with the idea that parenting isn’t always convenient, but it’s always worth it. I haven’t thought too much about this as my kiddos are 4 and 1, but it’s becoming ever more apparent that the time for complicated questions and concerns is here for our 4 year old. I am sure this is just the beginning.
These questions mostly come when it’s bedtime and we’re about to turn off the lights or we’re trying to hurry out the door. “Dad, how does God hear our prayers?” “Mom, how do babies come out of your tummy?” “I miss our [deceased] cat, Sophie.” Ummmmm, you are really asking this now? These questions start out small but over time they will only become more and more complex. A mother recently shared that she was walking out the door to head to work when her young adult shared an addiction problem; not convenient timing, but worth being late to work to parent.
Young minds don’t run on adult time. It might have taken that child all afternoon to formulate the question, mustered up the bravery to ask, or determined they are ready to actually hear an answer. What happens when you say, “Oh we’ll talk about this later.”? Do you really ever come back to the conversation? I know I don’t. I forget. These moments of curiosity and vulnerability won’t linger until you’re available. They will disappear without you even knowing it, making it ever more important to stop what you’re doing and parent a child.
It’s easy to say we’ll talk about it tomorrow but consider seizing the fleeting moment to talk about their question or concern when they need it and it means the most. Parenting isn’t always convenient, but it’s always worth it.