Being Present: Lessons from a child


A day, no different than any other.

Despite my pursuit of being more present, I find myself facing reflective moments, not because of the big events in life, but the small day-to-day ones. It's in these small moments that I am learning my greatest lessons. My wise teachers are 6 year old boys.

The most recent "small" moment happened when we made a routine stop at the grocery store.

With my never-ending to-do list rolling through my head I listened to two little boys arguing over a video game battle they had the night before. Standing there impatiently waiting for them to make their slow crawl out of the backseat, because they are so into their conversation that they stop every few seconds to insure the right amount of dramatization and sound effects will get their point across. Unfazed by my occasional interruption of  "Boys, pick up the pace, we need to hurry."

When all car doors are securely closed and I am sandwiched between these two little balls of energy my distracted mind is unprepared for the oncoming reality check.

My arms are stretched to the side waiting for the warmth of their hands being snuggled into mine.

No hands.

I gave my arms a slight shake.

Still no hands.

What? This non verbal cue always works.

The running list in my head paused to investigate the situation. Thinking they were still distracted by their storytelling, I glanced down to find two sets of blue eyes staring back at me. I felt a tingle at the back of my neck, my body's natural response to change. Then they said it. My heart stopped for a slight second as their words hit my ears. "Mommy, we're big enough to walk beside you without holding your hand. Can we? We'll be very careful, we promise."

They were exerting their independence. Proud of themselves yet worried I would say no. I was proud of them too. Yet my heart ached. I wanted so desperately to say no.

How many times had I mindlessly reached out for them to hold my hand. Not savoring the moment. Now it was over.

I wanted to say no because I couldn't go back to relive those moments and etch in my memory the feel of their small delicate hands enlosed in mine.

But I didn't and their delight of independence was evident as they skipped beside me across the parking lot.

I was sad thinking those moments were lost to me forever.

Luckily, the independence is sometimes forgotten and they place their hands in mine as an automatic response. I relish in those moments. Cherishing it. Soon they will no longer act on habit and will be completely independent. But I am now present and I am sealing those memories into my heart vault. Thankful for getting the chance.

Be present. Time slips away.

Be present in every "little" moment. Those are the ones you will miss the most.

Thank you for the lesson my sweet boys. I am learning. I promise.

2 Replies to “Being Present: Lessons from a child”

  1. This is amazing Nicole. Beautifully written!

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