Both Eyes

I read the directions at least three times and have finally remembered at what temperature to preheat the oven.

His knight hat covers my recipe book and I turn to get too snippy about the stuff, the stuff is everywhere.

He has something up his sleeve or his knight shield or whatever you call the plastic thing he’s wearing on his chest.

I can tell by the click, click, click of his tongue.

The complications of Barbie dressing and undressing and fitting her into a firetruck are debated in the next room and I understand the lightbulb over his head.

It’s just us.

Looking at him with both eyes, the way I should have all day, I use my cooking voice. I’m Julia Childs or Racheal Ray or Dora.

I give him the dough to flip and remind myself that four year-olds don’t care what is pre-made.

His belly giggles as I do my best dive to save his four year-old throw. We slide and flip until the floor catches some of our dinner. He stops to see if our spill is okay. I answer him with tickles.

The sword of a knight knows how to pull dough from the floor.

Barbie, the fire truck and their carriers come flying towards our noise.

The oven beeps but the laughter is louder.

boy at park

Do you have a hard time staying “present” each day? How do you keep your eyes open to what is in front of you?

Linking up with Just Write and 5 for 5.

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  1. says

    Some days it is SO hard, with a household to run and chores, etc. But it makes a huge difference to them when we are in the moment. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And trust me, you are not alone.
    Tonya recently posted..Looking Back & Forward

  2. says

    What a fantastic post full of presence. I wish we had more days and moments like these.

    And this, I love: “four year-olds don’t care what is pre-made.” Yes, I have to remind myself of this everyday when I feel like a failure for not having a luxurious meal AGAIN.
    Sarah recently posted..Age

  3. says

    Such a lovely moment. I’ve been having more problems since the baby was born–I just feel more pulled. I’m sure you know how that goes. Anyway, my key? Get down on the floor. Hard to be distracted when I’m at his height.
    Natalie @MamaTrack recently posted..That’s Not Me

  4. says

    I find myself daily saying, “Hold on…” or “wait” or “just let me finish this one thing….” while my kids are beginning to tell me a story.

    They are almost 13 and 15 so we don’t so much do the tickling and the throwing of food and the dress-up games anymore. Or at all.

    But they still want to tell me about their days; they have things to share with me; words they want me to hear.

    And I put them off. A lot.

    In four years, my son will be in college.

    And I know the silence will echo. I know I need to listen.
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me bad

    • says

      I am so glad you shared this, because I need to know it’s not just me. That I’m not the only one struggling to be present all the time and telling them to hold on for just. one. more. second. Thank you Julie.

  5. says

    Jessica, oh, yes, I have a hard time staying present. I fight with it all the time. You are, we are doing the best we can. We can’t be ‘on’ every minute of the day. We’re only human, you know? I think we often feel the need to be superhuman, to do it all, ‘be’ it all. I’m learning that we just can’t. And it’s okay.
    This is beautifully written.
    heidi recently posted..lost and found

    • says

      I think that is a great idea. I have started giving myself times. Time to leave the phone upstairs or shut off the laptop. Sort of the same strategy.

  6. says

    Such lovely writing, lady.

    and yes. I struggle with being present and then I write about the moments because it reminds me that I was actually more present than I even knew, the way I remember it so well. Just exactly what you’ve done here.

    The presence. It’s there in the details, huh?


    • says

      Very true and I never really thought about it that way. Since I’m taking it all in I might just be more “there” than I thought. Thank you for that. xo

  7. Juan says

    Staying present can be such a challenge. I find the hardest part is when there are a major deadlines coming up in a couple days; the mind just goes on overdrive and takes over :
    Juan recently posted..Sweet Tomatoes Coupons 2012

  8. says

    So sweet, this. Jessica, you do what you can. It’s impossible to stay present 24/7 but you are a wonderful mommy and this sounds like a beautiful moment you shared with your son.

    I’ve missed you. Hope you are well. XOXO
    Charlotte recently posted..yes, i still love you

  9. says

    I am constantly forgetting and remembering. Lately, waking up early has been helping me- I have longer to “wake up” and get my mind working and focused on what needs to get done so that the good stuff finally gets notice and appreciation and then I really feel like I’m living. :) It’s a new struggle every day, though for sure.

    Adventures In Babywearing recently posted..But not forgotten

  10. says

    I think this is a struggle for every parent, but i think we are often too tough on ourselves striving to achieve it.

    A friend suffering from Postnatal depression found this to be both one of her low triggers, this striving to achieve the ‘present’, but also an enormous lift when she consciously chose to just ‘be’ with her children, both physically and emotionally, with no ‘i must do this’ thoughts invading. difficult to achieve.
    Smiling Like I Mean It recently posted..Words

  11. says

    I’m not really sure I could tell you the last time I was, truly, present . . . even if I’m trying to do something on my own, well, the kids are–the kids. They make any version of “the present” very, very difficult to actually exist in – especially when there is the job, and the fact that I haven’t called my mother in far too long, and any number of other things that invade my life.

    I won’t pretend to assume that I know what you’re going through . . . won’t even begin to, but I have a hint.
    John recently posted..Where I relax and just type what crosses my mind

  12. says

    I’m bawling my eyes out.
    I seriously am.
    These last few weeks have been extremely hard on me mentally and physically. I know that I haven’t been the mom that I should have been to Chunky. He’s said things like “Are you going to be sad for today?” and “Don’t be angry today”…kills…me.
    Today, we are going on a date. Just me and him and some goats at a petting zoo. He deserves it…and some ice cream.
    Kimberly recently posted..Soon Enough

  13. Amy says

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder to be present in the moment. Sometimes it’s far too easy to get caught up in all of the mundane tasks that come with being a wife and mother.

    You have a lovely blog and such an amazing story. I plan to stop back often. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    Amy recently posted..A Change of Color

  14. says

    Staying present with kids (& in life in general) so hard especially when laundry, dishes and dinner are staring at you. One of my favorite quotes, from the movie Kung Fu Panda is “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That is why we call it a “present.””. Thank you for this post.
    Lanie recently posted..Random H’s

  15. Nana says

    Glad you had your moment with Parker, I’m sure he loved it. I say it over and over, but I’d give anything to have a few of those moments back…lovely memories<3

  16. says

    Oh every day I have problems being “present”! The onger I go, the worse it gets, until I have to do a hard reset. I am there now, in fact. I soneeded this reminder.

  17. says

    I just pictured myself in my kitchen making crescent rolls for the kids. From the can, of course. 😉

    I love the tickle moment, it made me smile so big. Ah, this life…

    Elaine A. recently posted..Mom!

  18. says

    Oh, I know that moment, where I realize I haven’t been all the way present. This is a beautiful accounting of really taking in and enjoying a moment, with all of the craziness of the day going full speed ahead.
    angela recently posted..Reach for Your Own Star

    • says

      I’ve been trying so hard to be more present lately and sometimes I think it just draws more attention to how often I’m not. Sigh.