I have not been paying enough attention to my children lately. Even when I think I'm trying, I step back and realize I'm still doing what I think they want and not just asking them what they want. So Nai has been acting out more and more lately, and I've been getting more and more upset with her-- because don't I take her to all these fun places and let her do fun things all day and eat lots of sugary treats? I end up feeling like I'm bending over backwards trying to please her, and she's just ungrateful. But meanwhile she just wants to be heard, to be the center of my attention for awhile, for her opinions to not be secondary to mine all the time.
I have an incredibly difficult time being in the moment. My mind is always pulling me away to an inner world. So even when I'm trying to interact with my kids, I end up with my eyes glazed over, in some distant land, until I notice that Giorgi is screaming "Mom! Mom! MOM!" trying to get my attention.
I exist in some weird combination of dreamy half-life and then snapping to it and trying to catch up-- running all over the place, trying to get stuff done, trying to be supermom and in the meantime being a not very good mom at all.
Anyway, so small steps. Yesterday I made it my goal to be present, in the moment, with my girls all day. Doing whatever they wanted to do. So my morning started when Nai woke up and wanted to cuddle on the couch. So I held her for half an hour, just the two of us talking a little, and looking out the window at people starting their day, but most of all just enjoying a quiet moment together.
After that I asked Nai what she wanted to do, which was go to the beach. So I skipped the gym and loaded up the girls and a picnic and we went to the beach. And while we were there, instead of pulling out my notebook while the girls were playing, I played with them. Occasionally I'd feel the pull of that inner somewhere-else, but a smile from Nai or the feel of the hot sand under my feet or the salty ocean scent was enough to keep me anchored in this world, enjoying my family.
Nai then saw the blackberry bushes lining the beach and wanted to pick some. We ate a lot, and brought a lot home.
When we got home, the girls took a much-needed bath, and naps, and then Nai wanted to help me make a pie with the blackberries we brought home.
What a way to savor being in the moment with my girls.