Fleeting Moments of Parenthood

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Being a dad can teach you a lot if you’re paying attention. Being a dad can even teach you things you didn’t want to know. Children are incredible at observing their environment and replaying traits back to you. They can quickly turn into tiny versions of you. It’s amazing how they learn just by watching and listening to you. Your tiny human will likely mimic what you do and don’t do in the world, good or bad.

Recently, I took a new job. Unfortunately, it requires me to be on the phone after hours.

I have always prided myself on the ability to digitally disconnect and focus on being present, especially with family. But this new job pulls me away at times when I would typically be spending time with my son.

It has been tough to find that balance. And I know I’m not doing it well.

I can tell by the way my son is acting.

He’s started putting objects up to his ear and trying to mimic talking (babbling). Even as a one-year-old, he can see that I’m not connecting with him as I should. And it drives home the point that I need to find a way to be more present when I am with him.

This week, the thing that got me most was when I was writing a work e-mail from my phone. I had been pecking away with my thumbs on the virtual keyboard, trying to send information out quickly. After I hit send, I realized he had been standing in front of me for several minutes. Just staring.

I was typing an e-mail about something I have already forgotten about. Internally, I felt I had failed him. Instead of paying attention to the fleeting moments I have with him as he ages and grows up, I was focused on a glowing blue screen.

While it was only a few moments, I won’t get that time back.

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