I heard the muffled bumps. The thuds. The sneezes. I heard faint footsteps. Then there were the slightly louder footsteps of Mom (our room is right above my head in the kitchen).
Then it all went silent. I was in the clear. (I’d turned off all lights and kept completely still in hopes everybody would settle back to sleep). I nervously turned the lights back on.
Then a couple more thuds and then the slow sound of a three year old cautiously making his way down the steps.
It was 5:30. In the A.M.
He brought me back upstairs to show me the pallet he’d made for himself in the hallway. I tried in vain to tuck him into his makeshift bed–and to hide my smile. I’m sure you can guess how successful I was.
Discipline vs. Relationship
I was trying to be disciplined. I got up early to write. Then there was Sam.
Sam was just looking to hang with Dad. Sam trumps writing.
I’d just finished a jog and emptying the dishwasher (my morning commitment to my wife). Next was the shower. Then an early drive to work to write before my office came alive.
I’m going through a writing challenge right now and got up at 4:45 to put pen to paper. Instead, I was surprised with some Daddy-Son time.
Full disclosure and to my shame: I was annoyed.
But I’ve learned since having kids (especially since having the twins) disciplines are always at the mercy of relationship.
More importantly, pretty soon my kids won’t want to wake up until 10:30 and then rush out to do whatever it is pre-teens and teens want to do.
At this young age, they love hanging with their parents. I believe it’s simply to give an opportunity for developing strong ties. While I’m a deep believer in early morning disciplines, I’m a firmer believer in strengthening those ties while the opportunity is ripe.
My Goals Aren’t Their Goals
My goal was to work on a couple writing projects not called brettcohrs.com.
Sam didn’t have any goals in particular. He was just awake. And awake meant that he got some alone time with Dad.
While I have little ‘g’ goals like improving my writing, taking a jog, or getting to work and plowing through some paperwork, I have a few big ‘G’ goals: my wife, my daughter, my son, and my son.
As long as I have a Plan B (and even if I don’t), I can relax if my morning gets interrupted. Sometimes it’s hard, but I just need to take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy the ride.
Question: How do you handle interrupted disciplines?