I sigh inwardly.
I am attempting to listen to my 8-year-old recount some event of her school day. Something that was apparently very funny. But it is being lost in translation.
“Okay, I’ll start at the beginning. So at lunch today…um, ok…”
I contemplate my child’s brain function. Does she suffer from some kind of attention deficient disorder? Is this the result of hours of playing Plants vs Zombies? Is this why she needs to have a piece of technology in her hands while waiting for another piece of technology to boot up?
|Playing Plants vs Zombies on the iPad while waiting for Animal Jam to load on the laptop.|
I nearly get up from my chair, to go do some household chore like fold laundry or empty the dishwasher, knowing she will dutifully follow me around, attempting to tell me the story of her day.
But instead, I still myself.
I look her in the eyes, something I hadn’t been doing. I had been looking down at my smartphone, checking my personal email while she tried to tell me this story. (Hmmm…I wonder where she gets this need for technology to occupy her…)
I take in her deep brown eyes as they flicker back and forth, searching for words in the air. I watch her expression as she tries to grasp those words, and I wonder if her adorable little pixie chin will stay that shape when she hit puberty and everything about her body begins to change. I watch her gestures as she begins the story again, admiring her long fingers and the natural grace of her movements.
And then something remarkable happens.
Her eyes catch mine, and she realizes she has my full attention. She looks in my eyes and the story comes to her easily, in one fell swoop.
“At lunch today I was sitting next to my friend Ellie and Charlie was sitting across from us and then Charlie began playing with his food, and pretty soon he had made a little person out of his carrots and his pudding. But then the lunch lady saw it and told him he had to eat it, so he did. It was so funny!”
And she looks at me with expectation, waiting for me to laugh, which I do. I give her a hug and thank her for sharing her story with me.
Suddenly a story that I would have half-listened to for 20 minutes and maybe would have remembered (but probably not) has become a moment. A brief one at that, but a moment that we have shared together, and it tells me so much about my daughter.
It tells me that she has friends, girls and boys who choose to sit by her at lunch. She loves it when these friends make her laugh. Likewise, these kids probably enjoy making her laugh, and that’s a pretty good basis for a friendship when you’re in third grade.
These moments are what matter to me. And I am thankful for them.
*This post was inspired by a book written by a friend of mine called What Matters...Gratitude. If you're looking for inspiration, or an amazing, positive place to make you smile, check out her blog.