Nobody ever wished they spent more time at the Office
April is No Excuses month.
The two most popular excuses I am not using this month are,”I’m too tired.” and “I’m busy doing _____ right now.” (last year blank was most often blogging or cooking). If it isn’t obvious by now I am an introvert. This doesn’t mean I don’t like people (I don’t but that is not what it means) it just means I have more mental energy when I spend time by myself. Being around other people just wears me out. Unfortunately I have found that I sometimes let this includes the people in my family. As much as I like to talk about the Mike/Mitch project giving me reasons to do things with other people, I find myself using simple excuses to be by myself more and more. To be blunt, I have been ignoring my family more than I should.
I let my family know that in April I would use no excuses if they asked me to do something. When I first announced it the reaction was probably best summed up by Max who said, “Daddy is going to be my slave!” I thought about the spirit of what I was intending and how I didn’t want to be doing all the chores for the next month. I revised my statement to say that I would do anything they asked me to do with them. I also added the restriction that you couldn’t ask me to just take you out and buy things.
Because I know my nature and didn’t want this to be completely draining I decided to break things up and offer each member of the family one week in April. We went in order of age so Max went first. Max is ten years old and before I list out the things he and I did together the first week in April I want to say that it was a complete success. Max and I spent a lot of time together and that was my goal. It’s also given us a baseline for things we should do together more often. Max did ask me to do his chore with him every day. Most days we would try to get out in the backyard and play tag or catch or our own version of Nerf ball badminton. One evening I talked him into going running with me. For our sort of grand finale on the Friday of his week he asked me to go to Grand Slam with him. Grand Slam is an all-in-one “party headquarters” that has an arcade, mini-golf, batting cages, bumper cars, and laser tag. Max mostly wanted to go for the arcade, but when I offered the package of mini-golf and laser tag he didn’t object. We went down thinking to spend about an hour playing and then head home. We stayed for three hours and had a blast. If you haven’t played laser tag recently I highly recommend it. Max and I fought valiantly for the Red team leading them to one loss and one glorious victory.
Something I found interesting was how much life got in the way during this week and I had to give Max some excuses that I really had no control over. There was Parent/Teacher conferences that week. I didn’t stop my marathon training (although I did find a way to include him for part of it). Also the weekend was taken up with events that had been planned very far in advance. I barely saw Max on Saturday. On Sunday we tried to go out and do a couple of things together, but because it was Easter many places were closed; most notably the comic book store. We ended up playing a game of Risk. I enjoy Risk, but because of how long it takes to play I usually say no when he asks. We spent the requisite hour setting the game up and played for another hour before I conceded my inevitable defeat. Also I had to cook dinner.
Life getting in the way sort of took the bite out of how I thought the week would go, but it still worked pretty well. Max and I snuck in a trip to the comic book store today and as a bonus he had two weeks of allowance to spend instead of one.
It was a great week and maybe it shouldn’t take some weird blogging goal to spend more time with my son, but whatever works, right?