Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Noticing

He was very grumpy. Nothing was right. As I selected books which I thought he might enjoy, he told me time and again that they were boring and he didn’t want to read them.
I stopped. I looked into his eyes. It was around 2:45pm and I realised with shock that I had not noticed him, I had not listened to him, all day. We had been too busy doing all the normal, routine stuff.
I had nagged him, cajoled him, fed him, instructed him, looked at spellings with him, helped him do a worksheet, read to him but I had not heard him. He had his heart set on a Star Wars book and the library didn’t have it. He didn’t want anything else.
How can it be that I spend all day at home with my children and yet days pass when I do not connect with them, when I do not look into their eyes, when I do not hear them?
Why does it feel impossible to fit in piano lessons, which both boys have asked to resume? Why have I only read five chapters in two weeks of the special, girls’ Chapter Book I specially got to read just with my little girl? Why did I only half listen to a request to do some free-writing, maybe later was my response.
What happens to those 24 hours, so that I go to bed exhausted with a to-do list longer than at the day‘s beginning, and yet feel that I have not spent enough time with them?

3 comments:

JoVE said...

You are not alone. I need to organize some piano lessons, too. But the whole post is very resonant.

Gaynor said...

What's really crazy is that I can actually give them piano lessons myself as they are still such beginners, and I still don't fit it in!

jean n. said...

What's really amazing is your high degree of self-awareness. We all do this (let days go by with less than a full degree of connection to our children), but you are connecting the dots between where you are and where you want to be within hours of a behaviour you want to change. Many people might never even realise the disconnection there, much less be able to do it so quickly.
So you are empowering yourself through awareness. And every time you are able to notice the difference between where you are and where you want to be, you are moving yourself forward light years. And, maybe even more importantly, your children see that and now are inspired. You may not think they notice, but they cannot help but notice. This is one of the gifts you bring to them.
You are already perfect, you just are chiseling away the resistance to that perfection in the same way that Michaelangelo chiseled away every part of the stone that wasn't his sculpture.