Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life is IN the interruptions, part 2

This is a P.S. to the post that comes just before this.

So I asked Jacob if he understood what "Life is IN the interruptions" means. He said, "Life is in the interruptions because the interruptions are fun. Without interruptions, all you would do is work."

That really made me laugh. It highlights the difference between a teenage boy, who wants to do anything but work, and a mom, who just wants to be able to get her work done. ; )

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life is IN the interruptions

I finish our Christmas letter, and Rich is proof-reading it. He has a couple of corrections. Then he wants an explanation of one of the favorite quotes I always like to share. "So what does "Life is IN the interruptions" mean?" he aks. "Is it like a play on words, with in and life? What exactly does life mean in that sentence?"

I look at him curiously. "You don't understand what that means?"

He looks back at me a little sheepishly. "Well, I mean, I guess I understand. But do you mean like joy is in the interruptions?"

Katie walks in the room, so I ask her if she knows what the quote means. She responds, "Sure, you know, like life is in being interrupted. You know. Like, you haven't really lived until you have been interrupted?"

Rich pipes in. "Maybe it means that you haven't really lived until you have interrupted someone else?"

At this point, I am figuring out that they don't really understand. Of course. They go to school and work all day. They don't know what it's like to have every thought, every task, every attempt to accomplish something interrupted by someone else.

So I patiently explain.

"You know, life, the things that matter, the things you need to cherish and spend your time on."

"It's like when I am trying to make dinner, and Anna comes in and announces that she wants to help me. Really all I want to do is just get dinner made. But we stop to find her an apron, and then everything takes ten times as long because she wants to do it all. But I let her help, because life is IN the interruptions."

"Or when kids get home from a dance or a date or a party. I really just want to sleep. But I stay up and talk about who was there and who they danced with and how it went. Life is IN the interruptions, even when it's your sleep that is being interrupted."

"Or when, every time we try to have a conversation on the bed after church, three or four kids come plop on the bed to join us. Or when you are trying to think, and somebody wants to read you his birthday list right now, even though his birthday is not for four and a half months. Or somebody else wants to read you the page of funny jokes he just read in the Life magazine. Or when you were just settling down, finally, to read your book, and somebody wants to play Candyland."

"Life is IN the interruptions, especially with children, because someday the interruptions, and the children, will be gone."

Rich says, "Okay, I get it." Then he feels the need to defend himself a little. "I would have guessed right if the question about what it meant had been multiple choice, you know," he says. "I just wasn't quite sure of my answer because it was a fill in the blank."