My six-year-old walked into the kitchen with a box of dominoes in both hands, the cordless phone cradled between left ear and shoulder.
“I love you, too, Daddy. Here’s Sammy,” he said as he navigated the dog gate and handed the phone to his brother.
Like mother like son, I suppose. And I laughed; but I also stopped short. I am trying to re-learn to do one thing at a time. For an inveterate multi-tasker, this can be painful.
Just chop the broccoli.
Just drive the car.
Just swipe the bottom domino from a pile of six by whacking it with a ruler.
That last one was a fifth grade physics demonstration, and I almost put it off till after dinner. That would have been a mistake, because we spent much of the meal talking about inertia and force and motion.
I am trying to turn off my cell phone between 4 and 8 p.m. Trying to leave my work at the office (no easy task, since the office is 14 steps from the kitchen.)
This morning while I supervised breakfast, I noticed a bat mitzvah invitation that required an RSVP. First thought: “I’ll just pop into my office and email the response. I’ll be back in time to make sure lunch boxes are in book bags.”
Then I caught myself. One email too easily turns into checking Facebook, reviewing my calendar for the day, assessing the to-do list. So I dropped the invitation on my office chair and figured I’d either have to respond to it or sit on it all morning.
Last night we watched The Secret of NIMH, an impromptu movie night, snuggled on the couch. I could have been paying bills in a corner. I could have been folding laundry on the floor. The basement playroom was dark and cozy. The animation from the 30 year-old film was occasionally stunning.
Ninety minutes curled up with my children. What could be more important than that?