The Day I Stopped Saying, “I Don’t Have Time”

I bent down and kissed him on the cheek. His sister was holding one of my hands, and I was holding his new baby brother’s carseat with my other arm.

“Love you, sweet boy. You have to go into your classroom now. I will be back to pick you up after school.”

I turned to rush back towards our van. I had ten minutes to get my daughter to her preschool, before she was late also.

“Catch my kiss!” My son shouted from behind me.

I turned around and watched as he shifted his big bag up onto his shoulder, and blew an imaginary kiss towards me.

“I caught it, sweetheart! Love you! Go on into your class now.”

“You didn’t catch it!”

I hurriedly put down the carseat, grabbed at the air and put my hand to my cheek.

“Okay. Love you. Go inside now.”

I picked up the carseat and turned again to head towards our van.

“Blow me a kiss, Momma.”

“Baby, I’m out of time. I have to get sister to school too.” I blew him a quick kiss, and shouted a long a loud, “I love you! Now, go inside, baby!”

He turned and walked into the school building, and I checked my watch again.

It seems like I am always in a hurry. It seems like no matter how I order my day or plan my schedule, I am always rushing from one activity to the next.

I wish it wasn’t true. I wish that when I found few free minutes in my day that I didn’t fill them up with a million other things that do not matter. But I do.

And I rush through the things that should matter the most – like imaginary kisses blown from the sweetest four year old God ever made.

That’s what I thought about on the ambulance ride. With my son strapped down the gurney, I couldn’t help but think about the morning before.

Just 24 hours before, I was rushing through my morning activities. If I had known that this was where I would be sitting the next day, I might have slowed down.

He hadn’t seemed sick that morning. Honestly, I didn’t even think I should keep him home from school, but after a slight fever the night before, it felt like the right thing to do.

Just before lunch, he had started to run a fever again. I gave him Motrin, but the fever didn’t respond to it. And then, out of nowhere, he started to complain that his stomach hurt.

I called our local clinic to make an appointment for him to be seen, and within minutes, my son’s simple stomach ache turned into screams of pain every time that he tried to take a breath.

I called the clinic again and told them that we needed to be seen immediately. When we arrived a few minutes later, they got us into a room, examined my son, and promptly made the decision to rush him to Children’s Hospital.

Once we arrived, my husband and I sat helplessly as the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him. He had multiple x-rays of his chest and abdomen. He had an ultrasound and a CT scan, but they couldn’t seem to find the source of infection.

They released us from the hospital at midnight with orders to follow up with our pediatrician within the next few days and said he likely had a virus and swollen lymph nodes that were causing the abdominal pain.

When my son woke up three hours later with a fever of 105.4 and abdominal pain that had returned, we rushed him back to the hospital. They ran a few more tests and decided to admit him to the hospital for observation.

Later that morning, we finally had some answers.

The report came back from the radiologist. Sitting on top of my son’s diaphragm, hiding behind his heart, was a pocket of pneumonia that had originally been overlooked. They were finally able to treat him properly.

It had been a scary 24 hours. I thought a lot while we were in the hospital. I made nervous chatter with my husband and the nurses. I talked with my son to keep him calm. I prayed.

But I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about the day before. How I had tried to rush my son off to school. How I didn’t even have a few spare seconds to give extra kisses. How I wished that I hadn’t hurried so much and that I had hugged him longer.

The story could have ended differently. It could have been worse. It could have been something that required more than antibiotics.

So today, I’m taking a lesson from myself. I’m slowing down.

I’m not going to rush through the moments that matter most. I’m going to let the dishes sit in the sink, and I’m going to play legos and super heroes. I’m going to be silly. I’m going to get down on his level when he wants to tell me something. And I’m going to stop saying “I don’t have time.”

Because if I don’t have time for the people that I love, then I need to reconsider what I think is important. Do you know what I mean?

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  • Morgan Leah says:

    Thank you for being such a light and an encourager. It never fails–after reading any of your posts, I come away encouraged. Please continue sharing!


  • Jodi says:

    Wow! Well said. Good things for us all to hear. Thanks for being so open. This part tears to my eyes. I pray your son is healthy again. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Caroline says:

    yes – life is too short, yet we all race through it. We learned that this year when my 2.5 year old nephew passed away. So glad your son is ok and God gave you a new perspective in the midst of everything that happened.

  • Catherine says:

    Such a sweet and powerful reminder to all Becky. God bless your little peanut and your family and thanks for my gentle reminder to always ALWAYS be there no matter what! There isn’t anything more important than my child!

  • Kari says:

    Beautiful post. I try to tell myself this every day but inevitably there are days where I rush through things and life races on by.

    Your son is adorable by the way, so glad he’s okay!

  • Emmy says:

    This post touched my heart in so many ways. First, I am so happy to hear that your son is ok and recovering. Pneumonia is no joke, as we discovered when my youngest son had chronic pneumonia for 3+ months when he was just a year old….part of the reason this post touched my heart…I felt your pain and fear, I felt that tightening in my chest just reading your words and remembering. The other part was the overall theme…of not having enough time, enough hands, enough of anything. I am the same way…I feel like I am constantly rushing from one thing to another, and what I dislike most about that is that I feel like I’m passing it off to the kids and causing them anxiety :( “Hurry, we’re going to be late! Hurry-get your shoes on! Have you brushed your teeth? Hurry into the bathroom, we have to go go go go go!” ugh. Thank you for the post today.

  • Alid Misli says:

    Great lesson to parents, actually anyone.
    Hope your son heal soon, pray all well to the family.
    Reminder to us also, to hug our kids while being inside the school.. not outside the school’s gate.

  • Jamie says:

    This is me. I so struggle withy he rushing and the cleaning and such trivial things. I need to do better. Thank you for writing this. And I’m sorry you had to go through all that with your boy.

  • Andrea Lucas says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart today, Becky! I was running late to work this morning, took time to kiss & hug my kiddos as they were eating breakfast and ran out the door.
    I was putting my stuff in the car when my 5 year-old opened the door to the garage requesting (yet another) hug. (Yes, they have this cool thing called an “attached garage” in MN. They. Are. Awesome.) 😉
    I ran over and gave him one more hug, told him one more time that I love him, and said good bye.
    As I was backing out of the garage, I was thinking that being another 30 seconds late to work was SO WORTH that extra hug.
    But the fact that at any moment one of us could be sick (or worse) didn’t even cross my mind.
    I’m sorry that your family had to go through those 24 hours, but isn’t it amazing how He uses moments like that to remind us of the important things? Thank you for being brave enough to pass on YOUR moments to us.
    I’m so glad that your little guy is doing better. I hope you are all able to get some rest and recover quickly!!

  • Brittney says:

    I love this. I to have had moments like this,Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you for this VERY important reminder. I am so glad to hear your son will be on the road to recovery!
    I really needed to hear this today, I was actually just praying about this same thing this morning. As mama’s we have SO much on our plates. I really struggle to get things done while also looking after little ones. At the end of everyday I feel like there is always so much left undone. There is always that temptation to put them off so you can just get one more thing done, or arrive on time when you are already running late.
    It is something that I must remind myself of daily, that they are only little once. You will never get those moments back.
    Thank you again. xx

  • Alyssa says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you so much.
    I prayed for your son and your family during those 24 hours and I am so glad that he is okay!

  • rachel says:

    I prayed for your son, for your family, and for the message. That it reaches many people and it resonates with them. Thanks for the reminder to take time for the things that matter. God wants us at home first. The world is only after we’ve taken care of our first and foremost responsibility <3

  • Kate says:

    Love this post. So honest and so true. Things like this really make us see what’s important, not always easy to remember though in every days busyness. Hope your little man feels totally better! X

  • Fiona says:

    Wow! What a powerful post! I’m so happy things turned out well for you son! I think we all could use an opportunity to slow down.

  • This post touched me, and Im not a mother, or married yet. Thank you for sharing this story. It’s a beautiful, and inspiring post reminding us to have time for the important people in our lives. I pray that your adorable son is okay now.

  • vanessa says:

    wow!!! Tears tears tears! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I do not realize how much I do that until looking back. I will make the effort to slow down and relish in the my daughter’s littleness. It will be gone before I know it!Thanks again and blessings to your family!!

  • Allison Payne says:

    Thank you for sharing this story! I will remember this next time I drop my daughter off at school and any other time she just needs her momma. I am so sorry about your son and pray that he gets well soon!

  • Theresa Walker says:

    Oh, so very true! Thank you for sharing. Praise God all is ok with your sweet boy.

  • Can Cunha says:

    I feel like you speak the thoughts in my mind. Gosh. This is so true.

  • So scary!!! I’m glad that doctors were able to finally figure out what was wrong. I assume he is okay now?

  • Jaclyn says:

    As soon as I saw that your precious little boy was back in the hospital and they didn’t know what was wrong with him, I started praying immediately that they would find something fast. Although I was rushing a bit that day as well, I quickly ran an errand and came back a little while later to see that you did have results – right around the time I prayed for an answer! So thankful our God hears our every cry! I will continue to pray for all of you – these past few months have just been a whirlwind, I’m sure! Peace, mama – you’re doing a great job!!! I can tell he has such a sweet spirit and as I look back to why I started following this blog, I can remember that it was his compassionate heart for people and his love for Jesus that really spoke to me. Prayers that he will be healthy, happy and WHOLE in no time!!! :-) Get some rest, we’ll forgive you!!!

  • Mornings are hard on us, too! I hate the rushed feeling. I’m so glad he’s okay and that you guys found out what was going on!

  • Lisa says:

    I read this post and it inspired me to make time and I am so glad I did. I published this post about it and just a short hour after publishing it I headed to the ER with my oldest and spent the entire night there with her throwing up again and again, most likely an allergic reaction. I am so glad I read your post that morning and I am so glad I made the time that day. We never know what might happen next so living in the moment is crucial! Thank you!

  • Haylie says:

    What an amazing reminder. We often overlook what we love the most and we don’t show them how much we love them in order to tick things off our to-do list. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Vanessa says:

    We’ve had too many close calls with our children and I’ve slowed down after the crisis passes. But all too often life gets cluttered again and I find myself in the same place again, needing to be reminded to slow down. It seems like I’m always playing tug of war with God for who is in charge of things (which I know is futile). I’m glad your son is okay. Thanks for a friendly reminder.

  • Joy Matanda says:

    I will slow down too.

    A lovely piece to read; a wake up call too.

  • Jeff Place says:

    a great reminder for that small and simple kiss goodbye even though you may have done it several times. Or may that you watch “Frozen” again for the 100th time. Along with this message for me is to remind myself to be more patient at the silly things that go wrong. Great write up.

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