Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

One thing I have learned from being a parent is that children don’t value what we do for a living; they value what we do to learn their love and, in particular, our time. As usual a short story might help.

How much do you earn?

“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” asked the kid.

“That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the Dad said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much you make an hour?”

“If you must know, I make €20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. “Daddy, may I please borrow €5?”

But Dad was so angry now. “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your rom,” he said.

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The Dad calmed down and started to think. “Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that €5. He really doesn’t ask for money very often.”

He went to his son’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” he asked. “No Daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy. “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier” said the Dad. Here’s the €5 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you Daddy!” he cried. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up €5 notes. The Daddy saw that the boy already had money and started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money and then looked up at his Daddy. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the Daddy grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have €20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner and play a game with you.”

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, remember not to let time slip through your fingers without having spent some time with those who really, matter, those close to your heart, especially your children, your spouse, your parents and grandparents.