I’ve talked before about my (sometimes failed) efforts to put down my mobile phone and just be in the moment with my son, R (4). I’m proud to say I’ve come a long way since writing that post back in August and I’ve reached the point where the familiar tone from my phone, alerting me to a new message, has actually become an annoyance, an interruption to my time with R, rather than an escape.
As ever though, R continues to teach me that I can still do better. While I no longer check my messages and emails every ten minutes, while I no longer “just check-in” to Facebook for a quick look over there (that inevitably lasts thirty minutes or more), I do still have the phone by my side constantly. My phone is my camera and I take a LOT of pictures. A quiet day of photography for me is about fifty photos. A regular day is around seventy or eighty and if I happen to be taking photos for an activity that I know will end up on the blog, then we are talking over one hundred photos in a single day (I’m slightly obsessed with getting “the” shot. I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?)
There’s a couple of reasons why I’m so obsessed with taking photos but first and foremost, it is because I am so acutely aware of how special these early years with R really are, and just how quickly it will all fly by. I am so determined to treasure these moments, and not forget a single one of them. R will change so much within the space of a single week. His face is just that little bit more grown up than the week before, the games he likes to play, the favourite toy that never leaves his side, the super-hero outfit that is worn everywhere, all of it is so fleeting and I want so much to remember. So, I take pictures. Constantly.
Today, were playing outside in the sunshine and R was being silly and showing me a funny dance move he’d made up.
“Look at me Mummy!” he exclaimed.
Oh, you are so cute, I thought. I needed to capture this adorable moment, so I began snapping away (actually I’d been snapping away for the entire fifteen minutes we’d been out there).
Again, R pleaded with me “Look at me Mummy!”
“I am looking at you darling.” I replied as I took another shot.
“No. Look at me with your eyes Mummy!”
It was like being woken up. Yes, I was noticing what he was doing, loving it, appreciating it, preserving it, but I was watching it on a screen. He saw Mummy looking down at a device. He saw Mummy engaged with a phone, not present and engaged with him. Finally I got it. I put down the phone. I committed his gorgeous antics to my memory banks instead of a memory card. Now, with my Mummy brain the way it is, I am sure I won’t be able to recall all the details of what he was doing by tomorrow, let alone by next week. It doesn’t matter. All this time I’ve been so caught up in my own memories, trying to give myself something to look back on in years to come, I was forgetting about what kind of memories I’ve been creating for him. I want him to remember a Mummy who was present and engaged and interested. Who looked him in the eyes.
I’m linking this post to Real Life Wednesday over at Picklebums. Click on over to see what real life is being shared by others.
Now to this week’s Sunday Parenting Party linky.
Thank you to all of you for linking up. Here are just a few of my favourites from last week.
When ordinary becomes extraordinary – Awesomely Awake
We all need some slow time – Life Happens Then Write
Nothing was working – LittleOwlCrunchyMomma
Twenty Two Things I Love – The Cute and the Beauty
Chill Out Corner – Positive Time Out – Adventures at Home with Mum
Thank you again to everyone who linked up. If you’ve been featured this week, please feel free to grab a Sunday Parenting Party “Ive been featured” button from my sidebar. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts again this week. We invite you to link up your parenting posts, old or new, humorous or heartfelt, and as many as you like. We ask that you don’t link up kids activities. This linky is purely for posts about parenting. If you do have a kids activity to link up, pop on over to The Weekly Kids’ Co-op. We would love to see you link up there.