The Twin Cities has been spoiled recently with those warm fall days that let you know summer isn't quite ready to let go, so we've been spending time in our backyard, soaking up the last bits of sun before it drops behind the trees and the air gets crisp. There aren't many days left where the girls will be able to run around barefoot in t-shirts, so we try to enjoy it while it lasts.
I generally sit back and watch them play during this time. Explore. Learn. I'm a pretty laid back parent, so I let them learn their boundaries without stepping in too much. Sometimes it means there are tears, but more often than not, they are filled with pride as they accomplish their task.
The other night, we were outside and the girls were both focused on their own activities (instead of fighting, score!), so I was just watching them play.
My oldest, age 3, was busy making "fried eggs, scrambled eggs (can you tell we eat a lot of eggs?), buns and chicken" in her moon sand and was completely immersed in her imagination, as if she were actually wearing an apron and kneading dough to make the buns. In her mind, she was cooking up a feast for dinner.
My younger daughter, who turned one in August, was splashing in the water table, getting herself soaked, and getting the biggest kick out of stacking some cups. She moved on to trying to stand on the ride-on toy (our little climber!) and got the biggest kick out of scaring mom while doing it.
Do you remember the last time you were so completely involved in something that you weren't thinking of something else, worrying, planning, doing? Honestly, I'm not sure I do.
Becoming more intentional with my time is strongly tied to being more present, and is a goal I will be constantly working toward. Putting down the phone. Not being preoccupied with what happened in the past, or what's coming in the future. Catching the silly jokes my daughter makes because I'm fully listening to her while we play. Seeing my baby put two and two together to finally master a skill.
I'm not trying to be all kumbaya, and I can fully appreciate sticking my nose in my phone for 10 minutes while the kid are preoccupied with their toys, but I can definitely improve on being more engaged, especially when I'm not on my phone.
Have you tried anything to be more present in your day to day life?