I could smell the coffee brewing and I knew it was time to get up. Early morning is one of my favorite times of the day. Oftentimes it is when I able to read and write and think without any distractions. But this particular morning was different.
My seven-year old son woke up when I did. And he could not go back to sleep. So, he joined me in my makeshift office that is right across from his bedroom. My desk faces the wall and directly behind it is a small single bed. It comes in handy during those nights I write until I fall asleep or when I want to take a weekend nap.
I figured my son would go back to sleep while I got some reading and writing done. And for a few minutes, it appeared that was the way things were going to go. But then my son, in his soft and innocent seven-year-old voice said, “Daddy, do you want to talk?”
Initially I thought to myself, it’s 5 o’clock in the freakin’ morning and this kid wants to talk. I don’t like noise in the morning. Heck, I don’t like noise during most times of the day. But my seven-year old wanted to talk? About what? Spiderman and Thor? Recess and Phys Ed? I wasn’t sure.
So, I began to entertain the idea. Then, without much coaxing, I agreed. I continued to face my computer and he remained lying in bed. We began talking. And it was okay. But after a minute or two, I felt as if having my back to my son, while we were talking, was not polite. I turned my chair around so I could see him and he could see me.
And you know what?
We had the best conversation. At 5:30 in the morning. My teenage daughter was asleep in the next room. She didn’t wake up for another hour or so. Yet, my son and I had a great conversation. Somehow we began talking about war and about how my father and my wife’s father both served in the Vietnam War. And how President Trump didn’t. I know, I had to get that in. It was quite a deep and engaging conversation. You should have heard us.
My son and I talked about a lot in those wee hours of the morning. It was fun and a morning I will not soon forget. Looking back I thought to myself, How many morning are my son and I going to talk at such an early hour? I don’t imagine many. And I am sure the number will decrease as he gets older. Remember, my teenage daughter was still asleep. As I imagine most humans are at 5:30 am.
I got nothing done that morning. I didn’t write a single word. I didn’t read a single page. And I didn’t send out a single tweet. But, I got to share a moment with my son that I will never forget.
As Chip and Dan Heath point out in The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact,
And that’s the charge for all of us: to defy the forgettable flatness of everyday work and life by creating a few precious moments.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day getting things done mode that we often forget how wonderful it is to just stop, if just for a bit, and a let a moment unfold. I am certainly glad I did. The next time you are working on getting things done and you sense the potential for a wonderful moment, just let it happen. It may not turn out to be anything. But then again it just might. And I for one, think it is worth the risk.
Take a chance on a moment.
Put aside your to-do list.
And see where it leads.
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