Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Distractions Welcomed

Photo Credit:  Di-Fi at
I assure you that the title says distractions and NOT donations!  Honest!  But, why would I even say that distractions are welcomed?  That doesn’t seem right now, does it?  Distractions usually have such a negative connotation.  Distractions are interruptions, disturbances or disruptions that can produce much agitation and possibly slight confusion on the part of the individual being disturbed. (I’m just sayin’…)

A few of the many distractions that moms encounter on a day-to-day basis typically involve their pint-sized loved ones.  Am I right?  Here is a representative two-hour sample of one of our recent summer days…

Mom:  “Hey guys, I need to call someone real quick and I need to hear what they’re saying this time.  Please be quiet for just a few minutes.”

(Quiet for…one entire minute.)

Child:  “Moooooohhhhhmmmmmm, she messed up my puzzle!”  (Crying escalates quickly and I find the nearest closet to hide in to finish the conversation.)

Then, I head to the laundry room to start washing the first of three loads for the day.

Child:  “Mom, Mom, come quick - my hand is glowing.  I accidentally split open this neon glow wand.”

I stop doing laundry to clean up the nuclear hand and then resume the laundry.

Child:  “Mom, we’re starving!!!  What are we having for lunch?”

I list the two choices and neither choice is appealing to the bunch.

Child:  “We don’t like thaaaaaat.  You NEVER give us anything good.  Yucky.  We like to eat at Nanny’s or Mimi’s house better.”

We finally agree on a palatable, yet semi-nutritious lunch and then I throw the clothes into the dryer.

Child:  “Mom, I need to go tee-tee REAL bad.”

I make a mad dash to the potty with the little one.

Child:  “Mom, what can we do?  There’s nuthin’ to do.  We’re (gasp) bored.”

Mom:  “Oh, you did NOT just say that!”  Then, I list all of the fun things that we could do inside because it has rained twelve inches over the last two weeks and we have a mosquito reunion going on right outside our front door.

I entice the older two with Play-doh, start doing the dishes and then I hear, “Moooohhhhhmmmm…can you come wipe me?!  I went poo-poo…” yelled from across the house.

So, there ya have it.  A little bit of heaven on earth.  Of course, there are many, many wonderful moments that happen in between all of the disruptions, but I’m just tellin’ it like it is for this Mommy.

Just the other morning, my son got up early and came into my room several times asking me random questions (not unlike any other day, really) while I was trying to get just a few more moments of shut-eye before the girls woke up.  I can’t remember the answers that I mumbled back, but it was indeed distracting and it kinda irked me to tell you the truth.

Then, for the first time in his 8 ½ years of life, he proudly walked into my bedroom again and hand-delivered breakfast in bed!  Once I realized what was going on, I then vaguely recalled the questions he was asking me: “What are we doing today?  Do you like sausage by itself or mixed with egg?  Can I show Jackson the squid that I put in the freezer?  How many days until school starts?”

Luckily, my husband had prepared a bowl of scrambled eggs with sausage before he left for work (thank you, honey!), so my son just put a few scoops of that into a Cars bowl and put a paper plate underneath it.  Then, in another plastic bowl with a paper plate underneath, he had Greek yogurt with blueberries and four cherries on top.  I could not have been more proud of my little man.  I love that kid and yes, distractions like that are so welcomed, I assure you!  I smiled as I ate my cold eggs and fruited yogurt in bed.  It was a delightful distraction.

My sister-in-law, Stephanie, sent me a wonderful blog post to read the other day about distractions.  I wasn’t quite sure what the post was going to be about since the title was, “Your Screaming Kids are Distracting Me.”  I was curious to see where the blogger was going to go with that title.

After reading it, I was so encouraged by the post that I wanted to pass the highlights on to you.  In this post, Meg Hunter-Kilmer shared her thoughts after the sound of a wailing toddler distracted her during the middle of a holy hour, a quiet prayer time at church.

She explained that she was really focused (on everything BUT prayer) at the time the bawling began.  She wrote, “I heard the dulcet tones of a toddler tantrum and couldn’t help but thank God for the luxury of silent prayer.  I heard footsteps and a door opening and offered a prayer for the patience of that poor parent.  I prayed for those who were really angry about the disturbance.  I prayed in thanksgiving for the gift of life.”

Hunter-Kilmer said that when parents take their children to church, they are really helping to make saints of the people around them.  “You’re pulling them out of their self-obsession and reminding them that being at Church is about emptying ourselves for God and each other.”

She wrote that many times we just talk on and on and on to God about ourselves and just tag an “Amen” onto the end.  She encouraged parents by saying that screaming kids can be a great distraction – a distraction from ourselves.  She wrote, “We start praying for you.  Or for them.  We pray for single parents.  We pray in thanksgiving for our grown children or we beg for screaming children of our own.”

Meg said that if normal noises of your children are distracting her, she was going to be distracted anyway.  “Ooh look at her shoes!  I wonder how many states have more vowels than consonants.  How far is it from here to Maine?  I should make a pie this afternoon.  314159.  What would I even do with a giant mouse suit?”

She ended her piece by assuring parents that their children are indeed distracting her from the endless series of irrelevant thoughts that occupy her “praying” mind and she is truly thankful for that.  I really enjoyed her take on distractions and thought you might too.

Just like a season in the desert can make us appreciate the sight of life-giving water again, I think a strategically placed diversion can put us back on the right path.  If a distraction can draw me into a deeper and more meaningful prayer life, then distractions are certainly welcomed here.  And, if the distraction involves breakfast in bed, bring it on!


  1. What a unique slant on "distractions" matter what the blessing/burden, trials/tribulations, ups/downs......there really are many opportunities for prayer and one doesn't have to look to far.

    1. I will never look at the word "distractions" the same. Thanks for reading and sharing your insight, too.