Coming Home

I love getting home from work.

There’s nothing quite like putting my key in the door as I hear Eden’s feet run across the floor of the house. She looks through the glass in the door and screams, “Daddy!” Then, she runs back into the living room to tell Katie, “It’s Daddy!” Finally, she runs back to the door about the time I’m walking in and greets me with a huge hug as she screams again, “Daddy!” It’s great.

A few weeks ago I had a meeting on a Monday night so instead of going home, I stayed at my office until the meeting. Later, Katie told me that Eden said that afternoon, “I want to go outside and wait for Daddy to get home.” Even though I didn’t see her before she was asleep that night, it reminded me how important it is for me to be completely present when I get home.

Recently Jon Acuff wrote a blog post called “How to be a better parent in 4 seconds.” His advice? Never walk into the house if you’re still on your cell phone. He explains…

One of the greatest ways to destroy a little kid who is waiting for you is to come home and still be on your cell phone.

Nothing deflates a daughter who runs toward you for a hug like a hand that says, “Wait a second, I need to finish this call.”

Nothing says “you’re second place in my life,” like walking through the door while still on the phone.

Nothing says, “my world is more important than yours,” like refusing to end a call when your kids come sprinting down the stairs to see you.

But fortunately, nothing is easier to fix than this issue.

If you’re on a call that you can’t get off, then don’t pull into the driveway until you’re done. I used to park in our neighborhood pool for five minutes to finish calls instead of getting home and talking in my kitchen.

It’s a silly thing maybe. It’s a small thing I guess, but it makes a difference, and I learned this lesson by getting it wrong about a thousand times. And, the scary thing is, you’ve got a limited amount of time to do it.

Even if you’re not a parent of a small child, it’s still a good thing to give the people you’re with your undivided attention. No one wants to be with someone who makes them feel unimportant.

  3 comments for “Coming Home

  1. October 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Neil – this is good stuff. Even though Kennedee is not old enough to get up and run yelling Daddy, she does crawl to the front door when she hears keys in the door.

    I think my thing is updating status at meal time, but I try not to do this. We were at a place in town and this guy was eating with his wife and child, about Eden’s age, and he had his iPad out. I told Ashlee if I start doing that please remind me of this situation.

    • October 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      It’s just about the best feeling in the world isn’t it?

    • October 19, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      I mean, being met at the door is the best feeling in the world. Getting it wrong…not a great feeling! Ha!

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