Distracted by an ostrich


The Age of Information is being nicknamed the “Age of Distraction,” and wouldn’t you agree?

I sat down to write this column and was “distracted” by my children who needed help with buttons and then making train tracks. I had a phone call, remembered I was baking muffins, and decided my flowers needed watered. Of course, the dog needed out, I received and answered a few text messages, my kids smashed blackberries on their shirts and needed changed again—more buttons—and then the toy train needed rescued from the tyrannical little dog. By the time I sat back down, I smiled to wonder what on Earth I was writing about and… ahh… Distraction.

I believe I write frequently about savoring the little moments, but it’s because I need the constant reminder. If I’m truly distracted from anything, it’s properly prioritizing what is most important. Everything is temporal. As in, it’ll all end someday. The days of my children needing (wanting) my help building blanket forts are going to be short lived. Even the dog will one day cease to be an annoyance and be considered among all the other great old dogs…. (Though Perry Boy is seemingly on the slow track for this, bless his fuzzy heart).

Dr. John Trainer once said, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” That means unplug the device and connect to your children. We are yet to see the outcome of this Age of Distraction, but I know one thing: Children are not experiments. They need our love, our attention, and healthy discipline. After all, people have survived for years not Googling every question and then clicking on ten links to learn more, because we already knew the answer: duct tape.

In an effort to focus more on the kids, sometimes I cram in a bunch of housework all at once. The boys know to stay back and just watch the madness. Yesterday, my oldest offered a solution so we might finish the chores and go for ice cream: “If only you were an ostrich, you could clean faster.”

Perhaps his five-year-old mind lacks some focus. Or maybe this Google territory tonight. Let me confess my ignorance: I’m not sure how well ostriches keep house.

Neena Gaynor is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She also writes on her blog at and can be reached via email at


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