Two Places at Once, But Never Really There
I was was at my daughters tumbling class, sitting on the bleachers with the other parents, all of us looking at our phones. I will admit, I was working. I was getting caught up on some writing, and social media management, something I do in the margins of my life. Yes, I do have a full time job. I don’t write for a living.
I looked up for a moment, and there was Aspen, standing on the gym mat, hands at her sides, shoulders slumped, lips down, eyes longing, watching me as I was failing to watch her.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get a lot out of my phone. Honestly, we’re it not for internet in my pocket, I would be stuck in a office, or at home, trying to keep up with my writing, and my work obligations.
But at the same time, it often feels like I’ve got one foot at work, and I’m never really home. I’m confident many working parents reading this can understand.
In this moment at Aspens tumbling class, though, as I looked at the longing in my daughters eyes for me to see her, I felt pretty low.
It felt like I was trying to be in two places at once, and not really there for my daughter. So I put my phone in my pocket, and I committed to leaving it there. And I’ll admit, something changed.
Every time Aspen did a cartwheel, or a swing on the bars, she’s pause to see if I watched. And sure enough, I was right there, smiling at her. And my friends, she was glowing. Everything about her was warm and tickled by the simple act of her father watching her as she developed her tumbling skills.
And by the end, as we went out to the car, she walked a little more confidently, and she even leaned into me with a smile as I unlocked the car door. It was a warm moment that really only took me giving my full attention.
Once we got in the car I said, “You looked awesome out there.” I gave her a sincere high five, and Aspen, bless her heart, couldn’t stop smiling.
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