This morning started out like any other morning. Our morning routine typically consists of one or both kids waking us up at an outrageously early hour, one of us dragging ourselves out of bed, turning on the tv, making coffee and then turning on a computer to check emails or start working (Eventually, we feed the kids too). I’m not exactly proud of this routine. I’d like to say that each morning we sit with the kids for some quality time but the reality is, as for most parents, mornings are hectic, rushed and time starved to say the least.
But, today was different. I don’t know why but when I sat on the couch to say a proper good morning to the kids, I forgot to get up and inadvertently got sucked into watching one of their shows (Busytown Mysteries, if you must know. Catchy theme song!). I ended up watching the whole thing and then realized that I didn’t once look at my phone or my computer. What a great feeling to just sit with the kids and enjoy with them something that they enjoy so much. Sure, it was TV but we’ll fight that battle later.
Something from this experience carried with me through the morning. As I was riding the subway to work, I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket to read a book, check the news, play a game… anything that would keep me from engaging the world around me (I’m usually pretty grumpy from lack of sleep – thanks, kids!). My first instinct was to quickly look down at my shoes, dig in my pocket, pull out my phone and ignore humanity like I usually do. But this time, I hesitated and forced myself to look around.
And I was alone.
A subway full of people, and each one an island (poetic, isn’t it?). Every person was head down with their mobile device. No one was looking around taking in their environment. Granted, doing so too intently on a NYC subway can, in rare circumstances, get you in trouble but it struck me that people (and I include myself) are so intent on not engaging that we miss the world around us. Now, don’t misinterpret this as me being anti-technology. Far from it but, I realized a truth from both my experiences and it was best said by Ferris Bueller*:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
So slow down, look up and take it all in. That’s how memories are made.
Wishing you happy memories.
COO, Husband to Founder and enjoyer of kids’ cartoons
* If you remember Ferris Bueller, then we’re both getting old. Welcome to our generation.