Not A Full-time Parent but Fully-present Parent

362 (2)I learn so much about parenting from watching my husband.  There’s the simple stuff like, it’s never too late for a tickle, and nothing works better to solve a crisis than distraction, but the most amazing thing to observe in Ted’s parenting tool kit is his ability to be fully present with the kids.  I’m the full-time parent, but he’s a genius at being fully present when he is with them.  Ted has a marvelous capacity to put distractions away, and when our boys are with him, they know that he is 100% with them.  It’s a kind of selflessness and generosity I feel so blessed to observe.  It’s also a kind of discipline and hard work for which I have boundless respect.  Because the character from children’s literature I most resemble is the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, my attention is never divided into less than two things: the activity at hand and THE CLOCK.  Usually, though, my attention is divided by a dozen other distractions, and I it let it be because the discipline of tuning out thoughts of time, dinner, the other kids’ homework, who ate all their broccoli, whose forms need signing, Did I pay for that field trip yet?, Are the soccer socks clean?, What should I get for Aloysius’s birthday?….The discipline required to tune all of that out exhausts me more than being distracted by it.  If Ted is thinking of other things when he’s playing hockey, playing chess, bathing or reading to our boys, it does not show.

Just one of the many marvels of the man we celebrated on Father’s Day.