I am truly in awe of how gracefully my 8 year old wears his lateness. No hesitation. No sense of guilt. Not even a flicker of wonder as to what others might think as he struts into the school office to pick up his late slip, his morning smile lighting up the room.I think of the gazillion times I’ve suggested to my boys that they “be here now”, and notice what it actually looks like to really “BE here now”.
I’m not sure there’s anything more beautiful than a contented human being.
It’s 7:55 and my son is sitting at the table savoring his matzo with butter and homemade strawberry jam. The house is abuzz with arms thrusting through arm holes of jackets, goodbyes, and doors closing. But this little guy’s just sitting at the table, soaking up the taste of each bite.
I am conscious enough to be able to see the beauty in the moment, but not calm enough to catch my words before they slip out.
“Hurry up! We’re going to be late!”
He doesn’t move. Doesn’t even turn his head to look.
I change my tone, and add some love.
“Let’s go, baby. You don’t want to be late the first day back from break.”
But the agenda is still mine. The truth is that today he is not bothered by being late. He is truly lost in the bliss of enjoying his breakfast.
I flash back to Friday evening’s Passover seder where I stood up and encouraged 55 guests to be intentional about their time this year.
“You are free!” I said. “Think about something you’d like to do with your time, something you may want to stop using your time for, a different way you’d like to relate to time this year,” I suggested. My personal thought was that I’d like to bring my whole self more completely into each moment. Not worry about the future.
I have been extremely challenged by my online work life recently, feeling overwhelmed with the many directions in which I am pulled, and the sheer number of projects I could be exploring. The truth is that last year was my most productive year ever workwise, and I did it by staying focused on specific goals, and organizing my time with those goals in mind. But then life happened. Big things shifted that were out of my control, and my attention was pulled in other directions. It’s time now to refocus and reclaim my time.
But my little guy’s sense of time hasn’t changed. What was true last spring is true again now. He lives in the moment. He’s not worried about what he’s missing those first few minutes of class, or preoccupied with what others might think about him missing it. He knows that everything is ok. I want to know that too.
Teeth do get brushed and shoes do get on his feet.
We leave the house on our bikes at 8:03, leaving us a 7-minute window to make the 15-minute ride to school. I’ve only got one foot on the pedal when the first question flies through the crisp morning air.
“Why did they stop building that house?” he asks, referring to the construction a few doors down that began briskly and ended a few months later just as suddenly as it had begun.
I feel the words of hurry and worry rising to my lips, but this time I catch them before they escape.
Instead, we talk about construction, building codes, and the cold morning air, and we learn to stop in puddles of sunshine every so often, close our eyes, and push our freezing faces towards the sky, soaking in the warmth – the fuel for our next few blocks on our bikes. We laugh at our drippy noses.
He is 100% in the moment. And so am I.
This piece was inspired by Dr. Shefali Tsabari’s work on Conscious Parenting
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