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Here and Also Present

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“Mom, you’re doing it again!”


“Huh? What honey?”


“You’re doing that thing you do! I’m talking to you and you’re not answering! It’s like you’re not here or something!”


Maybe I’m not.


I know what she’s referring to. While shuttling the kids to yet another activity I let my mind wander. It’s a deliciously self-indulgent past time. I notice the green of the trees and open the car sunroof to breathe in the clear blue sky. I just breathe and listen to my thoughts, eyes ever focused on the road ahead. New ideas sprout and thoughts resolve. And I simply breathe.


It’s my own form of meditation. I don’t release to the moment but retreat to the sanctuary of my pondering.


The backseat may be a buzz of activity but unless it hits octaves indicating siblings battling I tune it out and retreat.


I’ve always been a daydreamer. Lots of ideas and thoughts are fruitful distraction. My oldest daughter seems to have inherited my propensity to allow the mind to wander. We both don’t fair well during church sermons, or any sermon for that matter. There are too many tempting ideas to explore.


Back home my kids hold my attention captive and I find myself lately fighting to stay present. I just want to sink into my thoughts and “take a moment” instead of explain why you can’t hold a cloud or whether we can set up a play date for that afternoon. I just want to have time to think, which is such a rarity nowadays with an active household of three young kids.


It’s a push-pull that my children win out but they don’t necessarily have me present. They seem to know it too. We drift through those moments or afternoons, everyone unfulfilled. They don’t have me and I don’t have me. It’s getting harder as they’re getting older and I need a plan before frustrations build further.


I just need time to think of what that is.


A balance is required between my need for quiet contemplation and my family’s need for me, clear and present. For now they know they sometimes have to demand my time rather than request it in order for me to fully hear and be here.


Perhaps in my old age I’ll just be considered “hard of hearing,” hopefully the mind still brimming with ideas.

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