‘My heart is so broken right now. As I sit here at chick-fil-a watching my kids play I almost feel guilty writing this post because I don’t want to take my eyes off my kids for a second. But as I am sitting here watching the kids I notice a mom and a little girl come sit at the table next to me. The little girl just got picked up from school and you can tell she was a talker. She never stopped talking from the time she sat down. I watched the little girl tell her mom the same sentence multiple times repeatedly. One of the sentences was “when I grow up mommy I want to be a nurse like that lady over there.” She said that same statement I know 6 times and she was hoping for a response from her mom. Maybe mommy would be interested and excited about what she wanted to be when she grew up. But instead her mom never looked up from her phone. She never made eye contact and she never even responded. Then came the disappointment in the little girls eyes. I seen her shoulders slump and her eyes look at the floor. She continued to try to talk to her mom about different things that happened that day and that she got a star in her class today and even that someone was picking on her. But again her mom never looked up. And eventually she stopped talking. She realized just how much her mom didn’t care and that whatever was on the phone was so much more important than what she had to say. I was crushed. I thought to myself. “how many times do I do that? How many times do I not look up? How many tricks do they want to show me and I never see because I don’t look up? How many conversations do I miss with my children when I just give them a iPad so I can have a few minutes to do what I need to do ?” Eventually they are going to stop asking…they won’t want you to watch anymore because they know you won’t. You will always be looking down. They may not feel comfortable coming to talk to you about something like a little boy being mean to them at school because you may not listen in the first place. I am so broken and my eyes have been open to the power of technology and what it does to our minds and our parenting and even our marriages. So as I have been encouraged today I encourage everyone here. Look up. When they talk to you and want to tell you how they feel or things like what they want to be when they grow up. Put the phone away. Make eye contact and care. Listen to them. Now is the time they choose if they are comfortable talking to you. Give them the attention they need or they will go find it somewhere else. And when your old and in a rocker. You won’t have memories and conversations to look back at. You’ll just have regrets, news feed and drama that never mattered in the first place. Look up. It’s a beautiful sight and you won’t have any regrets. Now that I’m finished pouring my heart out I’m going to look up and watch my kids enjoy ice cream.’
I’m not sure as to who the originator is that wrote this, however, I found this very moving, quite frankly a reality check and a good reminder.
There’s a big difference between being in a child’s life and being present in their life.