Monday, February 13, 2012

Being present.

This post was written on January 6th, 2012, about a day at the park with my daughter. The pictures are actually not from this day {as I have posted them in a previous post}, however these are recent pictures of my girl and I "hanging out" outside. Something we love to do. Something I enjoy so much. It is by far one of my favorite things in the world.
January 6th, 2012.
It was the most beautiful day we had in a long time.
In fact, it was the first amazing day of winter.
60 degrees, sunny, with not the slightest of a breeze.
And for January? We couldn't have asked for anything better.

So without hesitation, I took this opportunity to take my daughter to the park.
She woke up from her morning nap, ate her lunch, drank her milk, and got her warm cozy little outfit on as well as her new shades. Because every 1 year old needs to be stylish.
 The park is in our neighborhood, but a good mile down the road, so we decided to take the car there.

As soon as I took her out of her car seat and placed her on the ground, she immediately lit up. Happy as can be.This whole walking outside? Without being carried? Is a whole new world to her. And she loved every minute of it.

We first went onto the swings. The "baby" swings kind of scared her, and she gave me the signal right away that she wanted out. So we tested out the adult swings with her sitting on my lap. And to my surprise, she was so content and happy. Giggled. 
 I could tell she was enjoying the beautiful weather just as much as I was.

After that we tested out the playground, went on a few slides, and just explored the area. She just loved touching everything and seeing all the things that the park had to offer.

Above all else, she enjoyed the walking. Oh that girl just walked. And walked. And just when you thought that she couldn't walk anymore... she walked. More. All around. Back and forth. Here and there. All over again. And then repeat again 5 times.
 And in the midst of all the walking... I got to thinking. Here we are, in a neighborhood full of over 1,000 homes, beautiful weather, and we were the only ones at the park. 2 hours in. What was wrong with this picture? I was dumbfounded.

 I completely understand that there are other circumstances, reasons, priorities, and commitments that may be a legitimately good reason for their absence.

However. Not a single one?
Okay wait, there was one, I lied.
A mom showed up to the park about an hour into us being there. She had a son and a daughter with her. And her headphones in.

That's right. The kids ran off to play {probably 4 and 2 years old if I had to guess}, while the mom was texting and listening to music.

I'm going to judge here. Because this is how I feel.
The laughter that I heard coming from those little bodies? Absolutely adorable. Contagious. Toxic. Watching them play? Was so beautiful. Everything about a child playing is just perfect.

So the thought of a mother not only closing them off by not looking at them, but also not hearing them. Just disturbs me, and makes my skin kind of boil. And what if something were to happen to them? How would she know. How could she hear?

No worries, this "time" with her children on the absolute most gorgeous day in January only lasted 15/20 minutes. And off they went. After the kids were pleading and begging mom to stay just a little bit longer.


However, I must admit, at least she came to the park. Because she was the only one that did.
 It tore my heart to pieces. And made me appreciate and enjoy my time with my daughter that much more.

Today reminded me that these moments go by so so fast and they grow up right before our eyes. That a child playing is art in itself. And their laughter can warm anyone's heart.

And most importantly, to be present in the moment.
Our children grow up right before our eyes, in what seems to be, just seconds. Doesn't mean I like it. Doesn't mean that I don't wish I could do something about it. But it is a part of life. And what do we do? We deal with it.We make every moment count.

Sure. We get "busy" in our lives. We have other obligations, other priorities, and sometimes we cannot devote that time, 100%, that we would like to with our children.

I'm guilty. We are all guilty. But days like this also remind me to just let the "little" things go, get outside, and enjoy my daughter and the beautiful weather.

Because, how could you not?
When you have something like this in your life.

33 comments:

  1. can Elli get any cuter?!?! I love her pink peacoat! LOVE it!! I love this post! It is so true to really be present with your children...not just there but present, to hear the laughter the joy, watch them play...soak it all in, they are only little once then they are teenagers who want nothing to do with you other than food, clothes, money ya know lol and a ride hahahahah

    xoxo

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  2. what a beautiful post! :) and so true.

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  3. This post is so true. I've certainly been guilty of getting caught up in little things while we are at the house and Ethan wants to play. I immediately regret it. It's so important to soak up these times because they do fly by so fast. I can't wait for warmer weather here so we can go play and explore outside!

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  4. I love her adorable little jacket and of course her big blue eyes! I bet she is so sweet. And I totally agree with you that it makes my skin crawl to see parents so uninterested in their children. Especially young children. I love my child so much and want to take all the children who {I perceive} are not loved and take them home with me. You'll probably be seeing me on America's Most Wanted, ha!

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  5. Love how you cherish time with your little cutie!!! What a great MOMMA!

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  6. Love what you said and how you said it. I'm not a mother- but I often see situations with parents and their babies that breaks my heart. I again, try no to judge, especially since I don't have any kids of my own, but I often feel so heartbroken for the children. I can just tell they are craving affection and affirmation and maybe aren't getting it!

    So glad to hear about a 'present' mother; I hope to be one someday :)

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  7. This is such a beautiful post! I agree with you, every second is a moment to cherish!

    xo

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  8. You are such an amazing mom. I feel like so many parents these days are more like babysitting than parenting. Keep on doing what you're doing! Your daughter will remember that :)

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  9. I absolutely love this post. I'm not a mom (yet), but when I am, I want to be a mom that's actually present. That is involved with my children growing up, instead of just sitting on a bench listening to music. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. This makes me sad. I want a kid to go to the park with. I love babysitting for that veyr purpose!

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  11. i LOVE the occasional sun shining day in the middle of winter. especially because my little boy needs to get outside.

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  12. You take the prettiest pictures of her and I love her shades.

    Left you a little blog award today since your one of my favorite blogs to read. http://rachglamfam.blogspot.com/2012/02/little-blog-award.html

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  13. She has the cutest little face and such pretty blue eyes!

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  14. I love her little jacket it's SO adorable. I have to say, I wouldn't judge the mother for letting her two kids run around and play independently. She shouldn't be texting the entire time or have her headphones on in my opinion though. But I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and watching them play together is SO adorable. I usually just follow them around with the camera, and give boosts up to the slide as needed :)

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  15. such precious pictures! It does make me sad to see parents not appreciating their time with their little ones.

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  16. great post!!
    Loving all of Elli's coats and of course her, she is just to darn cute!!

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  17. LOVE this post. I'm constantly reminding myself to be present and take in every moment with Nathan....it's easy to get caught up in your own self sometimes.

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  18. I agree, it is so much better to be present. That's partly why I can't get myself to blog or tweet or whatever that much because I want to be present with her while she is awake, you know? The rest just falls away as less important because I want to soak her up!

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  19. I totally agree. Sometimes I just have to put off all the things that need to get done so I can enjoy my baby boy while he's still little.

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  20. Great post and a wonderful reminder to all of us. Love it!

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  21. First of all, let me say that I do really enjoy your blog, and I am not necessarily disagreeing with what you are saying. And, let me also say that I am not posting this to start an argument. I feel like so many comments often turn into arguments.

    I feel like so often as bloggers we ARE judging, and try to protect ourselves by saying we AREN'T judging. I know I've done it too. I kind of feel like by saying, "oh that mom brought her kid to the park and put her headphones on....but I'm not judging" that actually is judging.

    And here's the thing....you never know what that mom's situation was. A million things could have been going on in her life....and she still took her kid's to the park. Maybe her kids were hellions that whole day, and instead of keeping them in the house and being angry or yelling, she diverted the situation, and took them to the park. Maybe she needed those headphones as a means to take a breather and "count to 10." You just never know. She could be depressed. She could just be having a bad day. Anything could be happening in her life.

    I guess I just feel bad for that mom. Because no one is present 100% of the time. Who knows, she could be a terrible mother and do this all the time. But maybe not. You just never know.

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  22. Kristen, no worries, there is no argument here. I stand 100% behind what I say. We are allowed to judge. We do it on a daily basis, often times without us even knowing. It just depends on HOW we judge, and what we do about it. In fact, I wrote a post on judging. I only know what I see. I'm not going to go up to her, and I am surely not going to say anything. Not once did I say she was a BAD mother, not once did I say she did not love her children. I am not here to decipher what is or isn't going on in her life. I merely stated what I saw, and how it reminded me to be present when I am out with my daughter.

    Because, I too, have been guilty of these things before {not being present}.

    All of which I mentioned in the post. I even added in the end that at least she did come to the park, that was better than not being there at all.

    The example I gave at the park, was just that, an example. She was not the focus of my post. Unfortunately, people will take that and read too much into it.

    Also, I am honest on my blog. What I said was the complete truth, and that was the first thing that popped in my head. Because the honest truth is that as moms, we judge other moms, whether we admit it or not. I also mentioned this in the judging post I wrote about a couple weeks ago. AND THAT IS OKAY. Because it's part of being human. It's how you handle that judgment that matters. I moved on, I took it as a way to learn from it, and make myself a better parent. I could have written in the post, well maybe she was depressed... and maybe she had a bad day.. and maybe this. But again, that was not the point of the post. She was not the focus of the topic. She was merely an example.

    Sorry for the long reply, but I wanted you to better understand my thought process behind all this.

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  23. your daughter is just gorgeous!

    i cannot stand when i see parents especially young parents not interact with their children like as if they are an inconvenience.. horrible!

    my son is sick right now and i can't wait for him to get over his cold so we can enjoy the nice weather we're having also!

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  24. Oh how true is this post. It's so sad. I see this over and over again in the schools. Some people just simply do not make time for their children, at least not real quality time. I worked for a lady like so. I hated to leave because I felt I loved them more than their own mother. It's so sad to see. However, it's pretty amazing there are moms like you. Not kidding, she will be forever grateful for your love!!!

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  25. i just love this post. there is just something about the way you write. i just feel what you are saying. you are a wonderful mother. she is so blessed to have you :)

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  27. Hello! I'm a new blogger/writer and I just added myself to your followers for support! Maybe you could come follow me too?
    Thanks so much!
    Emily, from http://emilymmeyers.blogspot.com/

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  28. I'm so glad that you are present with E, because we get to see so many beautiful pics of her! :)

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  29. Adorable pictures of such a precious girl!!!

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  30. Wow. Your daughter is gorgeous. Her little pink coat is to die for.

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  31. She is so precious in pink. And look at those eyes!

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