Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Being Present

My son, Jones, (18 months), gave me his first-ever unprompted kiss this morning on our way out the door.  I was a little rushed, and it barely even registered what he was doing until he had already done it.  At the time I said "oh, thank you, sweet boy," or something equally trite, and we made our way to school and work.

Thinking back on that sweet kiss now makes my heart swell and swoon, and I am kicking myself for not being "present" enough in the moment to fully appreciate how sweet it was at the time.  Isn't that always the way?  Memories are more poignant and sweet-seeming than the actual moment.  I hate that, but I guess it is human nature, and definitely parent-nature.

Also, my babe has started to watch TV all of a sudden...  When I first became a mom I was firmly planted in the "no TV until 2 years old" camp, due to all the research saying it isn't good for babies.  And, I still pretty much fall in that camp.  But, upon my first hungover morning as a mother of a toddler, I begged my son to watch just 15 minutes of TV so momma could "rest her eyes" while lying on the couch.  No go.
A couple months ago on our 10 hour drive to Boca Grande, FL, I brought along our portable DVD player and a stash of shows I loved as a kid and thought he would love- Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Care Bears Movie, and crossed my fingers that when the going got rough for Jones, he would discover that TV was super-cool.  Nope. 
The hubs and I have long-known that our baby is biologically-drawn to music and will dance to almost anything with a rhythm.  Seriously-- think, cell phone rings, (and not necessarily ones that ring as songs, just plain old phone rings), the washing machine, and the 5-second transitional music played between NPR shows...  Anyway, we finally figured out what type of DVD our child would be enamored of at this point in his life, and when I brought home the Sesame Street Singing with the Stars DVD a couple weeks ago, enamored he was!

image via here

The DVD is basically just Elmo and friends singing Sesame Street versions of songs by famous musicians.  Jones dances, stares, and has even started air-drumming at appropriate times while watching this DVD over and over recently.  The lineup of stars boasts everyone from LL Cool J, Feist, and Will I. Am (mommy's 3 favorites) to Hootie and the Blowfish, Destiny's Child, N Sync, and Andrea Bocelli.  It's pretty crazy how many famous artists sing with Elmo.  Some of the songs are pretty tough to take, and many get interminably stuck in my head; but it's not a horrible children's video, considering all the crap that is out there.

Anyway, though I am not proud of the fact that my 18 month old is now addicted to a DVD, my favorite part of his new obsession is that he likes to watch from my lap, while holding onto a finger or two.  It makes me indescribably happy to see that sweet chunky butt backing up towards me to sit in my lap and then feel his tiny hand grasp my fingers.  Sigh.
Here's to being present for these moments.


  1. I remember stressing about it as well but sometimes you have to go with the flow. Usually when a show is on my son stats engaged for a few minute and is on to doing something else. It just turns into background noise. It reminds me of how I used to do homework with the tv on.

    1. Thanks, Shanika. Yea, Jones is pretty good about me limiting how much of the DVD we watch in one sitting too :)