A moment has the power to take our breath away, if we are present enough to catch it.
I remember when I fell in love with our baby girl. It was during a routine ultrasound and we caught her looking up at that camera. For five minutes my world stopped and I took in a simple moment in time.
We get so caught up in the daily grind that we blink and it’s bedtime. You check something on the calendar and then it hits you — summer is almost over.
Until we become parents, we don’t realize that our elders were right: time flies.
The little moments matter most.
Yesterday, I peeked out at our son playing in the sandbox, and I noticed that after each time he launched his monster truck, he’d turn back to see if I was watching at the door.
We’re naturally wired to want to share our “sparkle moments” — even as adults. Last summer, during a BBQ at my in-law’s, I watched my husband do something crazy with the kids and witnessed him instinctively turn around to see if his mom was watching.
I get emotional remembering that moment because it taught me something. As parents, it’s our duty to catch those fleeting glances more than it is to fix the perfect dinner, or to buy the biggest toys or supply the most expensive vacations.
Whether it’s a smile filled with pride, a pat on the head as you walk past them on their tablets, or a solid few seconds of eye contact it’s during these times that you don’t have to say a word to each other to understand how significant that shared moment is. That’s the power of connection.
As we get older, our field of vision clouds. When this happens, we lose sight of the little things that make life worth living. We simply make it through our days until something big happens to pull us out of our heads and reconnect us with our hearts.
The difference between our children and us is that they can still see the simple magic in our world. They’re tuned in enough to see the stray firefly stream across the yard, while we focus on the horizon and wait for the fireworks to boom.
Where does the curiosity and innocence go?
We probably don’t remember when, but there comes a point in life when it becomes mandatory to multitask. And once we get inducted into this current, it’s impossible to stop our minds. After a while, we become numb to the little sparkles and need a veritable firework display to snap us out of our survival coma.
The quieting treasure in this cacophonous sea is our children. We can follow their lead and slow ourselves down, and notice the world around us.
The key is not only live in the present during the big moments like an ultrasound, but to always tune in and wait for the little moments to sparkle.
I promise you, they will. And that’s what life is really about — not the perfectly put together interior décor or the totally toned tush.
Take a break from your to-do list, the mental chatter and the newsfeed.
Reach for your family and connect because you will NEVER get this moment back.
Jessica is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Private Practice. She blogs regularly on her website: JMiller Coaching. You can also follow her on Twitter.
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