Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When Our Children Know

Photo by G. Dorrington

Today I was reminded of something important.  While desperately trying to get the floor swept and mopped, my son grunted and cried for me to sit down and play with him.  I quickly walked around him trying to finish the work as fast as possible.  I had to clean the floor, right?  I handed him different toys and made funny faces at him in the hopes that he might get distracted and I could get a couple of more minutes to clean.  I even tried turning on music and dancing around the room with broom in hand.

He didn't want a toy, he didn't want funny faces and he most definitely didn't want music.  He wanted me to sit down and focus on him.  To be present with him.  To let him sit in my lap and touch my face.  To smile and look him in the eyes.  As my son begged for me, in his cooing way, I finally stopped and put down the broom.  What was I thinking?  Why had it taken me so long to see that my son needed me in that moment?  Why do I sometimes forget what is important and get caught up in what I think "needs" to be done, or what I "have" to do?  What was most important in that moment--cleaning up dust or interacting with my son who was so bluntly asking for my attention?   

We played with some blocks, handed things back and forth to each other and played a bit of peek-a-boo.  We smiled and laughed with each other, held hands and hugged.  After about 15 minutes, he turned around and scooted to a box of toys where he began playing by himself.  That was it.  I said his name, he looked at me and then smiled and turned back to his toy.  I stood up and continued my work while my son happily played for another 25 minutes.  We were both so much less stressed and once again I was humbly reminded of a valuable lesson.  When our children feel safe and know that they will be taken care of, then they gain the strength and courage they need to venture out on their own.  When our children know they will be heard if they speak up, then they don't need to waste precious time and energy trying to gain our attention over and over.   When our children know that we will be present with them, they can learn to be present with themselves.

Love and light to all the children out there.  Namaste.

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