I wake every morning with the same intention. To be with my children, when I am with my children.
More often than not, within five minutes I am lost in my usual round of thoughts and daily preoccupations. My children with their freshness of gaze continually insist on dragging me, kicking and screaming back into the present moment. The very nature of their being is a constant lesson to me, lost in an adult world of my perceived responsibilities and an endless drivel of emails. Yet the times that I manage to feel, see, hear or respond with a conscious mind are always so incredibly rewarding. However small or infrequent these moments, they are enough to keep my intention alive.
If I reflect on my childhood, my happiest memories involve my parents being truly with me. I felt accepted and loved by them in those authentic moments and the fact that these times didn’t happen all that often, probably made them even more poignant. Feeling acutely aware that my children will be young for such a short space of time, I seek to waste not a moment of this.
So I continue, regardless of how many times I react unconsciously, relying on the usual round of threats and bribes, handing out distracted responses and stock phrases. I know that each time I manage to meet them wholeheartedly, it feels a privilege to be a parent. As my children grow, I see their own preoccupations creeping in and their connection to life sometimes waning, it is at these times that I try to complete the cycle, by reminding them of the awareness they once taught me.
There is no end goal to my intention. Just an addiction to the authenticity of the moments that I share with my children and a deep pleasure in knowing that I have found a way to parent, that feels so good.
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