The telephone is ringing. I need it by tomorrow, Mom! 50 new emails overnight. We need your decision today. You promised! If you don't act quickly, this opportunity will be lost. They won't be kids forever. Make sure they do their homework every day. What are we having for dinner? I don't have any clean clothes! I can't find my (fill in the blank). If you don't do something, it's only going to get worse! Act NOW!
I've turned into a reactive automaton. Answer the phone. I'll go to the store right now. Delete, delete, quick answer. Yes! No! I'm sorry! Uh, what was I supposed to do? Did you do your homework? Pot roast! They're in the drier! It's in the car. Worse than this?
And yes, this is the point where I stop. These things won't go away, even if I deal with them all today, they'll all come back tomorrow with the same urgency; the same shouting, touting, self-importance. But when will I have the chance to tell my son how pleased I am with the young man he's become? Where will I find the time to build a relationship with my daughter-in-law? Do I have enough love to let my daughter choose her own way? Those are the things of consequence; they wait patiently for me, they do not tug at my hem or shout.
But they will not come back if I let them go away unanswered; they are important, but not urgent.