There are many things you are told as a parent-to-be, and then as a new parent. But the one that stuck with me the most is ‘stay in the picture’.
It didn’t really hit me till recently what that meant. Yes, it means to make sure to step out from behind the camera (or phone as is more likely in this day and age), making sure you are indeed in at least a few of the masses of photos you take of your little ones. But more importantly, it means, at least to me, to be present and aware.
Too often in this crazy, rushed around, over-booked, not-enough-time world, we forget to be truly part of our children’s lives. Sure, we may actually be in the same space as them, heck we may even be sitting right next to them, but are we really there?
It takes precious little time to help your child build a fort, or paint a picture or just go for a bike ride, but those little moments, those brief glimpses at how Mommy or Daddy played as kids, last a lifetime. Far longer than the latest toy, X-box or app on your iPad (and are less strenuous on your bank account).
And while it may seem tiring or even a tad annoying at the time, to stop what you are doing and go draw with chalk on the sidewalk, or blow bubbles or just lay in the grass and watch the clouds pass by, trust me, when you child grabs your hand, looks you in the eyes and says ‘this was fun, can we do this again?’ you’ll know right then and there that it was the smart thing to do (you know, once you get past all the feels).
Yes, it will seem hard at first, to stop reading that report, or doing the dishes, responding to the email or putting the laundry away, but we truly have precious little time when our children actually WANT our attention – before long they are off doing their own thing and we are left wondering what happened to the chubby little hands that used to drag us over to have a tea party with them and 20 of their closest furry friends.
Time is precious my friends, make sure you stay in the picture.
Till next time,