I had an interesting thing happen this weekend. Well, interesting is relative I suppose, another may have found this ‘thing’ completely fantastic. Still another might have thought this ‘thing’ was a complete and utter disaster. I myself found it…a bit in the middle…
My computer has gone completely wonky. I am not sure what is going on, but for a good 48-72 hours it wouldn’t connect online. And then when it did, I could get some email, but not all. I had a hell of a time actually getting to my Google homepage, or dear God Facebook, but for just a moment Saturday morning all was wine and roses. For like an hour. Then I was shut out again until this morning.
What I noticed in this absence from mindless, numbing, computer dribble? Is that I will find other mindless, numbing, dribble to fill that void, and pretty much right away. In fact, as soon as I realized there was no motion on my desktop at all, except that little arrow that would happily move around, but wouldn’t actually launch anything, a slight flutter of anxiety ensued.
It wasn’t long after complete computer meltdown, that I ate ice cream. And chocolate. Nor did it take long before I caught up on my gazillion Oprah shows that have been sitting in my DVR since, yes, September. I got to take in a bit of Hugh Jackman at midnight, knitting, so thank you Oprah. I watched actual movies on Netflix and one that actually came in the mail too. Huh, even Food Network made it in there for an hour or so. I made lots of progress in the garden. I ran errands. Oh and cleaned the house multiple times.
Basically I spent every moment of this weekend doing everything EXCEPT remaining present.
It came to my attention this evening that I feel like I didn’t even have a weekend really. That I didn’t spend any quality time with my children. That I spent the time running, at top speed, away from that which is my life.
And that makes me sad.
I had a moment this evening, when I really LOOKED at my son. The one who so often looks like such a big boy, especially always compared to his younger sister. The one I ask so much more of because he is ‘older’. The one I think must be O.K., only because he isn’t screaming at the top of his lungs; that just ain’t his style. In that moment of presence on my part, I was able to see the truth. He is just a little boy. A boy that just desperately wants love and mindful attention, like each of us.
I was also able to see a more painful truth, that in just this weekend alone, I had successfully pissed thousands of fleeting, beautiful moments away, by not being fully present with him and his sister. There are no second chances in parenthood, no re-do’s. This moment is it.
And I repeatedly blow it. I checked out of mindful parenting. Of being WITH them. Of showing up in ways that parenthood asks of us, without running away. I let myself make excuses that they don’t need me to entertain them ALL the time. I fool myself to think they don’t need me to BE with them, to listen deeply, to look them in the eye with everything I say, to look them in the eye and hear everything they say, at every second. A few moments can slide by here and there and no one would be the wiser…
Except that is not true. They are the wiser.
As I sit here this evening, trying my darndest not to cry, I am grateful that I was at least mindful enough to realize my habits. Mindful enough to watch how I would react to not having this handy laptop distraction in my life constantly too. I take solace in my awareness of checking out from time to time with my kids, only because it begs me to be better. It reminds me to come home to my mindfulness practice, which I am learning is the gift my babes have to give me.
“Don’t run away to your computer Mama, nor to your food, or your ‘busy’ work. We are life, we are the moments, we are the marrow, and yes, this. is. it.” That is what they whisper to me, completely unaware they are doing it, they whisper to me…Tweet