witness & wonder
January 10, 2013 § 4 Comments
I fill pregnant gaps of time with moments of mothering. The uneventful pause in activity a small window of wonder waiting to be inched open. My words sometimes fall of deaf ears, my children registering my tone and measuring the least intrusive exit strategy to escape what feels irrelevant. For this reason, life lessons are often brief; a prelude to an experience.
This past weekend my daughter attended a sleep-over birthday party. The evening was filled with opportunities for her to express her individuality, independence, and ethics. Rather than fill her head with a parade of reminders as we marched to the party, I rewarded her for her strength of will and character. I celebrated the opportunities she was about to have and said goodbye.
The next day, sullen and withdrawn, she crumbled once free of the watchful eyes of the other party guests. Mom, those girls wouldn’t talk or play, they stared at their phones all night! One miserable evening had opened a window for old messages and permitted my daughter an experience that allowed me to reference our family values. Her tears were met by my singular question: How did that make you feel?
My daughter’s ability to own the experience of being lost in a room full of friends is one I hope accompanies her when we entrust her with a cell phone one day. A small injury creating a consciousness I could not provide with mere words.
Reading a more eloquent sharing today I was reminded that for all our adult discussions on the subject of technology and etiquette, our children must learn to create walls where there are none; building expectations to create conscious experiences and stronger relationships. We teach with windows of opportunity, modeling with our actions to reinforce our messages. The most important people are those standing present in the room with us.