A few weeks ago The Husband (PopPop) and I picked up our precious granddaughter, Elliot, and took her to her favorite place for breakfast (Cracker Barrel ) and then to the park to play.
When we got to the park it wasn’t even 10:00, but there were already 8 other little-ones running and playing. Ellie climbed up on the crayon-red train and the three of us pretended for a few minutes. We included a couple of little boys in the pretend train ride. I looked around to make certain the parents of the preschoolers were okay with us playing with them.
On the edge of the playground, some standing, some sitting on benches were 8 men. ‘Wow…this must be “thing”…. Daddy’s morning out with the little people’… I thought.
I tried to make eye contact to see if any of them might be the dad’s of the 2 little boys …
For the love of pete…
Every single one of them had heads lowered, cell phone in hand and were a million miles away busy with texting or checking email or whatever.
Every single one.
We played for awhile and then Ellie wanted to, ” run, run, run…” so we left boys on the train and started running…no kidding. Running. In circles, following our little leader.
Then she wanted to play hide and seek …Pop Pop is a really good “hider”.
Ellie’s giggles were contagious, her sweet voice… “Pop Pop where arrrre you”, music to our morning.
Laughter, spinning, running…bliss.
When it was time to go we passed by the little train, PopPop with one tiny hand, Gigi with the other, I thought of the ‘dad’s’ I’d seen on their phones earlier. I wished they could see life from my 50 year old perspective.
My 4 children long ago grown and living lives of their own, what I wouldn’t give for just 1 more Saturday morning with their childhood selves, Bethany with her soft blonde curls, Stephie with cork-screw pigtails, my chubby-cheeked Timothy ready for mischief and Emily, wide eyed, perched on my hip taking it all in. What I wouldn’t give for a Saturday morning with nothing to do but be with them…
No judgment here. Though I didn’t have a cell phone to occupy my mind when my children were growing up, I did have a pad of paper and a thousand lists to make…a thousand other things consuming my mind and my focus…but for the life of me, I don’t remember what was so important.
A quote from the book, One Thousand Gifts, drifts through my mind.
“Wherever you are…be all there.”
I grab the words and hold tight, it’s made it’s way among the first 250 gifts on my list.
I love the message of the quote…
I want to remember it. With all my heart…