I Wish I Hadn’t Been Too Busy

“The only time you have time for me is when you have something for me to do!”

Philip wasn’t angry. He was hurt. I could barely breathe because I knew he was right. Too often I had allowed myself to become so busy with what seemed like important things that my son was now deeply wounded.

We were running late. We were scheduled to leave for Philip’s freshman orientation to the University of Arizona that morning in the northern burbs of Chicago, about forty-five minutes away. We had two dogs that needed to be walked before we left. Did I mention that we were running late? Phil had ignored my request to take out the dogs. My anger got the better of me, and he responded with his piercing shard of truth.

I wish I had never allowed myself to become too busy for my kids. The movie Hook, starring Robin Williams as the adult Peter Pan, had just come out. In it Peter is always on the phone and always late for his kids’ games and performances because of work. When we saw this as a family, all the kids said, “That is so much like mom!” — not their father!

Once a friend mentioned that none of us, on our death bed, will wish we had spent more time at the office. So true.

This incident woke me up. I had not always been a “too busy” mom, and I loved raising kids. That was one of God’s calls to me during that phase of my life. My husband, Andy, and I do not believe the nuclear family is supposed to be the center of our world. The Kingdom of God is. But being faithful to the family that God entrusted to us is part of Kingdom living.

After I recovered from the shock of Philip’s statement, I told him I was wrong and asked him to forgive me. And he did. That gave me the freedom to change, to take some things off my calendar, and to better see the people right in front of me.

Phyllis J. Le Peau is a wife, mother, and grandmother (of 13 grandchildren!). She has authored several Bible Study guides and loves to lead studies with not yet Christians. She enjoys water skiing, playing games, reading, and making people laugh.