Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Okay to Look Away...

"If you don't watch your children all the time you'll miss something."

"Turn off your phone and tune into your child."

"Every moment is precious - don't waste a single minute of parenthood."

Lately there has been a rash of articles condemning parents for talking on their phone or surfing the web instead of "watching" their child. I don't know about you - but I'm kinda over this whole sentiment. 

I'm here to say it's okay if you look away.

'Cause do you really SEE what is in front of you all the time?  I know I don't.

In fact, when I try to be that "perfect" parent - you know - the one that is at the park and fully engaged with their kids - running, laughing, watching every little step - it's kind of an act.   I'm not REALLY into playing the 20th round of hide and seek - I'm just going through the motions.  Sure, the first couple of times were great fun - everyone laughed - we bonded - it was all good.  But after about 15 minutes - my eyes start to glaze and my mind totally wanders.  On the outside - I am SO the engaged parent making the most of  every single minute with my kids.  On the inside - different story.  I'm wondering about dinner, work, Facebook - ya know - the stuff that runs through EVERYONE'S mind.  The minutiae of life.

For example, the other day I was at soccer practice for Harlyn.  Prior to the start of practice, Hayden likes to kick around the soccer ball with his Dad and I.  We had a great time while Harlyn was warming up.  Kick, pass, laugh - it's all good fun.  Then they (the boys) had to leave and I was left behind to "watch" practice.  I immediately grabbed my phone, sat down and started to go through emails, check messages, etc.  After about 10 minutes I looked up to see Harlyn running down the field.  In that instant - I REALLY saw her.

She is perfect. :-)

Her legs are strong and straight - her hair this cute mess of blonde strands forever hanging in her eyes - and her little face was just shining as she ran after the ball.

THIS is my baby - my pride - my love - my little girl.

In that moment I had an appreciation for her that would not have had if I was always watching. At some point when you look and look and look you stop seeing what is right in front of you.  

No - I'm not a perfect parent.  Yes - I look at my phone, read my book and feed my own interests occasionally.  However, when I look up and take notice - I really SEE - and those moments are magic.
And magic doesn't happen every minute of every matter how much you watch and wait.

Perfectly crazy... :-)



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