Missing in action

I am here, honest – it’s just been one of those weeks. Ones where there’s lots occupying the mind as well as the body. Harder to decide what to write about, let alone to engage the mind and fingers to do so.

Missing in action – is it a parent thing too? We are so often in a whirl of activity (I am currently, anyway), our bodies carrying out any number of tasks, our heads trying to keep up with multiple conversations and questions from small people around us.

In between times, there might be a few moments (or Moments) to be in, but, well, it’s hard to hear yourself think. Let alone to slow down and experience the moments too.

Luckily, for all the clamour, small people are great at enabling us to spot the moments too. Because they are in them, up to their armpits in the present moment, often yelling for us to stop and view it with them.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter if the moment is mine – or theirs. It’s more often theirs. They are better at stopping. For now, I’ll claim the moments as mine too.

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The focus and concentration of little people in pursuit of next door’s cat. Not directly running after it, just desperate to be next to it, stroke it, and so on. Occasionally, the cat gives up its sunbathing and complies.

The ‘on switch’ effect of an evening shower. I’m sure they should come with a health warning for parents – or at least a complementary pair of earmuffs for when the decibel level goes way up again.

The tip toe attempts to see into a pram, and catch sight of a baby next to us in a cafe.

The tail end of a playdate. Never mind parallel play, here are five children playing independently, having nothing to do with any of the others, but all focused on their own task.

Two minutes later, there is competition to be the first to complete their tidy up task. (We notice that the pre-schoolers are much better at it than the school kids.)

The delight of pedalling your bike down a slight incline: along the path, through the garden gate and onto the grass.

The exuberance brought on by the prospect of Weetabix. (Or indeed porridge.)

The appreciation of new shoes that allow for more stamping in puddles, squelching in mud, mucking about in sand and water, and so on. Truly, crocs are the summer equivalent of wellies – and self-draining too.

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Sometimes, we manage to stop at the same time. We share our stories over meals, our memories of the day. We bring Daddy up to speed as to what has been going on.

And I try to bring to mind all the many moments, big and small. The brilliant eating. The trying of new things. The way that we let one bus go by, because we wanted to wait for a double decker one.

Teatime is a second chance to be present, even if I wasn’t fully the first time round. Marking the stories, celebrating the day. All present and correct.

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