As my daughter and I were sitting at the breakfast table, I’m on my phone scrolling through some social media site, and I hear my daughter say to me “Mama, talk to me”. I look up at her and see her big beautiful eyes staring at me, wanting my full attention. I instantly felt a tug of guilt on my heart, I was missing a moment I would never get back, a moment to connect with my daughter. I put my phone down and gave my daughter my full attention. We proceeded to have a fun conversation about dragons, moon cheese, and how swinging at the park is her favorite. In today’s society our attention is constantly being grabbed at by many directions, what will we allow our attention to grab onto? What type of moments do we want to fill our lives with?
If we set aside our to-do lists just for a bit and allowed the present moment to fill us, what types of things would we see? I would see my daughter’s face and how much it has changed since she was a baby, I would feel her soft hands that no longer have as much of the baby dimples as she used to, I would be filled with her scent and allow it calm my senses, I would hear her sweet voice that is starting to pronounce words correctly. Truly living is living in the moment, saying yes to jumping on the bed instead of folding the laundry, getting ice cream even if it’s before dinner, hugging my daughter instead of yelling, realize that each day could be our last. We are not promised forever, and in the blink of an eye my daughter will be going off to college and in that moment, I don’t want to look back and realize I missed my life.
The most precious gift we can offer others I our presence.
When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. -Thich Nhat Hanh
In this exact moment, will I reach down for my daughter and give her the attention craves? Or will I continue my task that is keeping me from loving on her? I chose my daughter, because one day she won’t tug on me and want me to hold her anymore, and that day could be tomorrow. We each have a choice, to guard against distraction and become more connected with those we love, or acknowledge the cost of distraction and allow that to take our time.
In this moment, the perfectionist in me was not happy about an entire wipes container being emptied onto the floor, but instead of getting upset my daughter and I laughed in this moment. We used those wipes and threw them up in the air, ripped them, allowed her to use her creativity for whatever reason she wanted to empty that container for. As parents, we write the memories our children will carry with them. Do I want my daughter to remember that I cared more about a tidy home than interacting with her? Instead of using the endless list of excuses we all have, today I will choose my daughter, while I still have the chance.
So today I will choose to go down the slide head first, splash in the dirty puddle, read that book for the hundredth time, and dance in the sunshine even if people are watching.
What are the costs of your distracted lives?