Today I share yet another quote from an online discussion. Reading the discussion (from which this quote was pulled) helped to clarify something I’ve been noodling about lately.
If you are sitting on the couch chatting with adults, then you are not with your child. You are placing more importance on your social time with the other adults than you are placing on your children. If I want to socialize with adults without being interrupted, I arrange to do things without my children. Otherwise, I simply plan to be interrupted. If you see or hear your child in distress, it is okay to say, “Excuse me, I need to go check on my child.” All of the adults in my life know this about me. If I am around an adult that balks at the idea of me stopping mid-sentence to help my toddler or young children, then I am probably not going to make plans with them with my children again. It’s that simple. My kids come first.
This is something that has developed slowly for me as my awareness of my children has increased. Years ago I found it hard to say this. I felt as if I were being rude to others to make my children my focus. I’m not sure why, really. My paradigm about this has shifted so distinctly as to have left me incapable of understanding my logic back then.
Being attentive to these three children has to be my priority. That does not mean that they cannot have the freedom to wander and explore. It does mean that while they wander and explore I am there to help them with challenges or to attentively share in their discoveries.
To some it may seem that I hover too much, and (frustratingly) to others it might seem as if my children ‘run wild.’
Nevertheless, I know that I am giving them my attention and focus within the context of freedom and autonomy. Because my intent is to neither lock them in, nor evict them from, this Family Nest. My intent is to help them feel loved and welcome here each and every time the come back from their ‘travels.’
Chris and I have long envisioned creating a place where each of our children can have a ‘soft landing’ when the world gets to be too much. But in these last few months I have begun to realize that this is what we’ve created already. These days their traveling is more emotional and psychological. But they still need a ‘soft landing.’ Someday their adventures will be physical and we will be here with a hug, a cuppa coffee and a warm, friendly place to land.
And that is and always will be my focus.