The Three Questions / The Most Important Ones

Ten years ago I was searching for a birthday present for my nephew who was turning seven, and I stumbled across The Three Questions. In this children's book, author Jon Muth reshapes one of Leo Tolstoy's stories into a fable about a boy seeking answers to three questions: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? By helping a few animals, he discovers the answers: 

The three questions Jon J Muth cover image
There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side.
— Leo the Turtle in The Three Questions
  The boy (Nicolai) and Leo the Turtle (illustrations by Jon Muth)

The boy (Nicolai) and Leo the Turtle (illustrations by Jon Muth)

I purchased the book. My nephew will be graduating from high school soon, so I doubt that he still recalls the message of this children's book. For me, however, a partial version of Leo's statement has echoed in my mind since I first read it: the most important person is the one you're with. I've thought of this when I've been tempted to answer my phone in the presence of friends. I've also remembered this with a pang when my children have to repeat themselves because I was staring at a screen instead of focusing on them. And I remember that message now, as a blogger and a mama to three young children.

I began this blog in August 2013 because I couldn't find a site that compiled French resources for American families, because I love to write, and because I wanted to share our non-native French family journey with those whom it might inspire. Now, in April 2015, I'm homeschooling my six-year-old, guiding my toddler, and caring for my newborn. I blog late at night so that I can be fully present with my children during the day, but frankly, I'm not as fully present with them as I'd like to be on the occasions when late-night blogging leaves me mentally sluggish.

3 children

All this is to say that I want to shift my focus from blogging regularly to getting a full night of sleep more often than not. I'm going to step away from blogging for the month of May to break my habit of staying up late to write, and to re-evaluate where blogging belongs in my priorities.

In the meantime, I hope you can be fully present with the ones you are with.

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