Monday, October 29, 2012

When a Fake Fire Inspired Real Joy

Last week, it rained.


I don't always love rainy days, but I ended up enjoying this one.

You see, I'd been blogging, and then reading other's blogs  (like Children and Technology and the great stuff at Hands free mama.) And I'd been thinking about technology and what a distraction it can be, for me, as well as for them. 

I thought about how the little, fun, online things can so easily rob me of the quiet (and important) blessings around me.

For example:
The other day,  I was sitting outside, enjoying the fall air, watching the children play.  The weather was beautiful, and the children were happy, and I took a break to soak it in.  I took one or two deep, satisfied breaths, and then... I checked my phone.
WHY?!
Why is it so hard for me to just be still?
This is true of me with or without the children around.

So, on this rainy, reflective afternoon, I thought about being still, and about being still with children.
Of course, I do not mean actual, physical stillness. I see no reason to attempt such a thing with six children around. If I were physically still, they would just climb on me like a piece of playground equipment. And then I would fall over.

I mean more of an inner stillness, like that of one "fully present."  I mean spending time with them with fewer distractions, an open heart, and an open lap.

We can't live like that all the time, but certainly, we can do this some time.

How could I achieve such stillness?
I needed to be inspired, too. I needed an atmosphere of quiet, and snuggles, and books, and calm. 
The gentle noise of the rain helped, to be sure. 
But a fire place would also be nice.

No fireplace in this house. But I know how to fake it. I got out our Yule Log DVD.
And several blankets.
And pillows.
Then, I filled a basket full of books, wonderful books, my favorite books to read to the children.
I arranged them on the floor, an invitation.
And I lit a candle.

And then, when they came home from school, this happened.

Cooks and books by the "fire"
We lingered for over an hour.
Of course, there were a few lap fights and book fights, and there was one minor injury.
But I was there for it.
All there.


Do you struggle with being "all there" with your children?

For inspiration:

4 comments:

  1. I do! I have been working on this for the past few weeks.

    Awhile back I noticed myself on my phone or ipod all the time and not really "being in the moment" with my son. I realized that because of this the only real 1 on 1 attention I was giving him was when he was in trouble! This was sad for both of us because I wasn't really enjoying my son, and because he never got to have 'fun' undivided attention. I've been working on it, and it is amazing how much joy it brings to our home when I'm in the moment with my kids more.

    great post! I'm following you now because of this one (haven't read anything else yet, I found you through a link up!)

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  2. I love a huge pile of books spread on the floor with all the kids and me pouring over them together.

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  3. I love this! Being fully present is really hard for me as a blogger and a person who makes a living online. . .there is always something to attend to, and no "off times" (though I am working on delegating more!). I've begun baking more with the kids, I hate the baking, but they love it and it is time with me:)

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  4. Wow! That is really impressive! We also have dedicated "reading time" where we all snuggle up with our books and do some reading. Quiet time is so important in the midst of rushing around school responsibilities, chores, piano, etc... New follower from the Cozy Book Hop. Have a nice weekened.

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