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Time to Pay Attention

August 25, 2011

There are a lot of things I haven’t gotten around to doing in the past few months and this blog is just one of the casualties of my inattention. But one must prioritize and I’m okay with the things that I’ve let slip recently. A lot has been going on, and there are no signs of a slow down, but I just felt like popping in here. Time to pay attention to the blog a bit, since I’ve been thinking about what else we do or do not pay attention to.

Recently I’ve been thinking that my kids, particularly The Bug who is 7, need to have their perspectives expanded. They need to look beyond their own needs and wants and realize that the world extends to other people and other issues besides how many times they’ve seen this specific “Good Luck Charlie” episode. J. and I have discussed church participation (it’s Unitarian, we can’t get too crazy here) and service projects. I also think just being back at school, being surrounded by more kids and the “community” that is school will help.

But this week I started feeling like maybe I need to be reminded to pay attention to something outside myself too. I know everyone’s been talking about it, and it’s getting old, but the earthquake kind of freaked me out. Not because I was scared when it happened. But because I wasn’t scared. I stood there with J. and The Bug, surrounded by tall brick buildings and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING while the earth shook for 15 seconds. I didn’t even call The Bean’s daycare to make sure everything was okay there. You would have thought I was from CA and I was used to this! I guess I feel like I should have been quicker thinking, more protective of my family… or something. I tried to redeem myself last night, when I felt a 4.5 aftershock and wandered around the house at 1:15 am checking on things. I’m hoping I don’t get another chance to deal with this, since that might mean some sort of dangerous natural disaster (can you say Hurricane Irene?) but my reaction, or lack thereof, surprised me in looking back on it.

Yesterday The Bean and I had a rare hour alone, after picking her up from daycare and before The Bug was dropped off from a playdate. We walked home from daycare and stopped at the park near our house. She wanted to swing and for me to push her “really high!” I did and she let go of the chains, threw her head back and laughed. She laughed in that way that only little kids do. The way that only pure innocent pleasure can make you laugh. In the way that never fails to make me smile, and yesterday actually made me cry a little. Because I thought, “She hasn’t laughed like that in a long time.” But, certainly, she has. She’s a little kid. Who runs and swims in the pool and plays in the ocean and gets tickled and kissed, all things that make kids laugh.

I realized, it’s not that she hasn’t laughed. It’s that I haven’t heard her laugh. Because I haven’t been paying attention.

It’s time to pay attention.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 27, 2011 3:50 pm

    Love this post, DemMom! I had sort of the same reaction to the earthquake (and we were much further away from it than you!) and I can absolutely relate to the “how many times they’ve seen this episode of Good Luck, Charlie.” (That show is in way-too-heave rotation around here.)

    We, too, are considering trying the UU church up here. We’ve been on hiatus for, oh, about 2 years or so, from church attendance (and our previous UU church annoyed me this week with asking for a congregational vote on whether they could take a banner from the church down to a now-cancelled-because-of-Hurricane-Irene event).

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