When my niece was a toddler I would visit LA to come see her and the family. My sister-in-law and I would for an hour or so before bedtime just sit with this adorable little chubby baby as she learned to crawl, walk, and explore her world. We would have the usual adult time share our day conversations, but most of it was watching the baby explore her world.
We would read books, play with the doll house, walk in the yard. It was all about just being with her, being witness to her, as she learned about life and grew into the amazing young woman she is today.
The word that struck me when I would talk to my sister-in-law about these moments was present.
“I just like being present with her, ya know?” She would say. “These days go by so fast and just being there with her is important to me.”
Yes, there was laundry to do, places to go, and people to see. But none of that was there in those moments before bed when we would just sit and watch the baby crawl.
As kids get older their schedules get busier, they get more independent, and frankly moodier. There is more of the rolling of the eyes than the baby smiles. Oftentimes those present moments disappear. We can be like strangers passing in the night, talking only of what happened at school. homework, after school schedules, and what’s for dinner.
Children grow fast. Each stage may feel like it is going to last forever, but it is only a stage. Each stage is a precious time when a human being is learning to navigate this world and become the amazing people they are going to be.
If we could take those moments now to just watch the kids as they grow- whether it’s in the car while they are taking to friends, on the playground when they are learning to climb farther up the jungle gym than ever before, or even taking a deep breath and letting your teenager learn how to drive all on their own, we can stretch out those moments a little longer.
Where in your day could you just stop doing, critiquing, functioning as a parent, and just be with your child? Each day starts with just a moment. These moments together can make you a fully present parent, which can be the greatest gift of all.
- Jeannine Proulx
Mindfulness Life Coach, Author, Reiki Master, Singer/Songwriter and supporter of Mindfulness Mothers everywhere!
She loves being Aunt Jeannine to her nieces and nephews as well as Miss Jeannine to the children she teaches, cares for and entertains with The Melodies, Heart Centered Stories, and more. Jeannine spends a great deal of her time making crafts and toy shopping for the kids in her life and plays a mean game of peek-a-boo!
- Current Contributor and Concierge for Inspired Parenting Magazine
- Founding Member of New Thought Education Consortium
- Columnist for Children of the New Earth
- Creator and Coach for The Possibility Path and The Possibility Path for Parents