I have one day per week which is “Mama-Tag” where I don’t work. Well I do “work” but not in the office obviously. I mean, anybody who tells me I was taking my day “off” when I’m with the Mimis is met with my incredulous stare.
But I’m getting distracted here, so the point I’m trying to make is that on this particular day of the week, I hardly even look at my mobile phone. Or think about my life. Or think in general. Apart from when the Mimis are taking their nap (a fact for which I’m still very grateful). It is not hard at all to “not be online” on that day. It feels completely natural because I do not really get the chance to be off, in the sense of “not to be present”.
The Mimis, and kids in general just do not tolerate absent-mindedness. Of course with small kids everybody knows you cannot be too far away physically, but also they will not tolerate you being absent emotionally. They draw you to the present with so much power that you will not be able to withstand. You have to be THERE with everything you are, with your body, soul and spirit. And this is a gift.
Kids of course are the true masters of presence. A sort of your personal Obi Wan to teach you how to just “be”. If you watch kids playing (which I could do for hours), they can get completely absorbed in it. And very happily so. They are in a good place and they are just there with everything they are.
I think that I am getting worse at focusing on one task for a longer period of time as I grow older (or just more tired?). Just because, at the office, there’s always new e-mails, chat requests or calls coming in, interrupting me. So I have grown unaccustomed to concentration for a lengthy period of time. And also, since my life is just so full of things to do I find it difficult to stop rattling down my “to-do-list” in my mind whenever there’s a chance.
But on Mama-Day I usually do not have a chance to do any of these things. I have to be there with my whole being, because anything less will not be enough to the Mimis. (well, sometimes actually I should be there twice because they both want ALL of me and those are the moments when I usually just want to run and hide, but that’s another story). It draws your mind and your body together to this moment at hand and this makes you, for a short time, a whole and present person. And this to me is one of the greatest gifts and teachings of parenthood.