Saturday, September 5, 2015

Time Undivided

I know you’ve been there – the tear-hear hour when your kids (or kid) won’t go to sleep or nap and needs your undivided attention and all you want to do is… divide. As adults in a multi-tasking world, we’re always thinking at least seven steps ahead and trying to figure out who, what, where, when and how for at least the next week.

My son doesn’t need that kind of attention anymore, but I remember the days of young childhood as particularly challenging—especially for a writer who’s always writing in her head. I thought about that today when a raft of interruptions came my way and then something happened that surprised me.

I remembered taking my son for walks, going to playgrounds and feeding him dinner with something approaching nostalgia—and it wasn’t because he was such a cutie (though he was). It was because being with him allowed me to stay in the moment, without having to plan/worry/obsess about what I needed/wanted/could be doing in the distant or not-too-distant future.

Time and kids. It’s up to us to figure out whether they give more than they take, and right now, at least with hindsight, I’m thinking it’s the former. Because when else are you going to have the time to inhale the smell of a fallen leaf or decorate a cake or noodle around in a bookstore? We’d all love to set aside our day for those things, but unless we’re doing them with our children, will we do them at all?

I guess that nostalgia is telling me to get away from the computer and out on a walk right now. Without a small child to remind me, I’m pretty much on my own. Or maybe it’s time to read one of these articles?

Make More Time for Yourself: Elizabeth Fenner