Being present (and ditching the phone again)

Sometimes the universe helps me to be more present with my children. Sometimes it manifests in the form of things I’ve already signed on to do.

Like, volunteering in my youngest’s preschool. Now, we go to a co-op for many reasons; it’s a wonderful family environment, my closest friends are in that community, it’s ridic cheap…

But part n’ parcel with that lower cost comes the expectation that families will volunteer at least once a month. For the whole class. With kids and sanitizing and- goodness- so many feelings. And while I generally enjoy being in Jasper’s class, I always have a moment of ugh, but this was my morning to WORK when I see the volunteer date on my calendar. Because we are all of us terribly busy and under-appreciated in our busyness, amiright?

And yesterday was my morning to see the volunteer date on my calendar.

But when we arrived at school, I had another moment: the one that’s all isn’t this what you wish you could do more often? Just hang out with your child (and 18 of his closest friends)? The thing you say to yourself each night before bed- tomorrow I’ll be more present/kinder and I’ll definitely play more?

And so, while it wasn’t a morning spent making finger puppets with my child alone (there weren’t even any finger puppets) I, you know, hung out with my child. We played with trucks. And read books. And molded tiny food out of clay (because a secret talent of mine is crafting miniature food- ask me about hotdogs and cupcakes sometime). And I was present. And it was nice. (And God- so loud.)

The world didn’t explode from my lack of typing things on the internet, either. 

This morning, I’m typing from a tiny chair in a semi-noisy corner of a Chicago play place. Per last week’s post, my iPhone’s battery just came in and we dropped my lifeblood off at the Apple store a few blocks away.

My first thought had been- you need my phone for TWO HOURS? What if NASA calls?!

My second thought was- I bet I’ll be okay without my phone for two hours.

Third? I should go play- and be present- with Jasper.

Jasper play time

Because honestly.

And after texting P.J. to let him know I’d be incommunicado- except for free wifi, rendering Facebook Messenger, Twitter and Instagram inboxes, and Google Chat, and FaceTime totally still a go- until roughly lunchtime.

I’m sure he was appropriately anxious. (I mean, what the heck did couples do in the ’80s/’90s/most of the Aughts? They missed each other like normal human beings and caught up at home. Or bummed a quarter to make a call from the high school pay phone in the front lobby. For example.)

I have no idea how this became a post about my phone addiction again, but here we are. And, in my ten-minute sabbatical from my iPhone thus far, I’ve noticed that most social media notifications (and possibility of social media notifications) creates an anxiety and sense of BUSY that Just. Is. Not. Real.

I’ll let you know about further musings on plugging/unplugging once I retrieve my super-powered new phone-with-battery. But for now?

I’ve got a date with a tall(ish), dark, and handsome man in a sandbox.

Hold my calls.



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