One of the things I’m working on this year is becoming more present, more engaged in the moment and with life (check out this post when you get a minute for a fantastic explanation of exactly how I feel). I don’t spend much time in the past, but it’s very easy for my goal-driven, born-planner/dreamer to live in the future and short-change the people and events right in front of me.
I’ve started sketching every day. While I finally consider myself an artist, I’ve never been good at drawing. In my architecture design major, I spent hours and hours drafting and had basic drawing in fine art classes…but never built either a relationship with drawing or developed skills. For a few reasons, I decided this year I was going to draw a bit every day and I’d treat it as a diary. So, I’m doing one quick (often five minute) sketch of something that exemplified my day. I’ve been doing it for about a month now and have only missed one or two days. It’s becoming therapeutic.
I often share the drawings with my son (to share the learning, practicing and failing aspects as well as the proud moments) and asked him the other day what I should draw. He and my nephew had been playing here all day and had spent 45 minutes tearing around outside with swords and shields like crazy marauding Vikings. He suggested that as a subject.
So, I began to draw one of the swords and shields. I got to the last word and he looked over my shoulder. “Cool, mom!” I asked him what he thought it was going to say. He answered slowly. “Well. A house full of boys is a….(there was a long pause)…mess?”
It was funny (he was dead serious), but inside I cried. I drew the word “Joy” as he watched.
He got a very funny look on his face when he deciphered the word. I could see the strong emotion and a huge smile broke and he said, “JOY! It’s a GOOD word!”
Oh honey. Yes of COURSE it’s a good word!
That exchange took several minutes, tops. But, afterwards I had the sense that it was a really important foundational moment for him.
And I noticed it.
I recognized it.
I wasn’t too busy crossing something off my list, getting to the next thing or thinking about finishing the drawing to be present and there in the moment with him. That memory is being tucked away in my heart to cherish and savor. A moment of connection.
While I’m sure that I have miles to go down this road, I’m celebrating this as an encouragement that I’m taking steps in the right direction!
LOOK for those moments with your kids! Be there.
P.S. I showed him last night’s drawing of our dog and he asked to go back and look at the sword and shield drawing again. I had no idea it would hold great meaning for him when I was sketching it. While the drawings are a learning experience at the moment for me, they’re becoming a vehicle for other things as well. A completely unexpected side benefit.