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Pay Attention to the Present

Posted by Jen on October 29, 2008 at 1:00 AM in Jen
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baby feet

The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day...

from Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist

If you gave yourself permission to let go of all tomorrow's worry (will we be able to get her into the right preschool? will they turn out to be criminals if I stop yelling? is it a mistake to have him tested for gifted and talented? if i don't get her out of this bed now, will she sleep with me forever?), what one honest and true thing would you do with your kids today--just today?

Comments are open for your sage wisdom.


Jean writes...

This is so true, Jen. Thanks for reminding us. People too easily forget that the present is what counts. I too often find myself launching worst-case scenarios when I try to think about what could happen if... That just isn't healthy. I'll remember this post the next time I start slipping into the future. What's the one thing I would do with my kid today? I would take a little extra time to talk to her, and I would give her the same piece of sage advice that you just gave us.

nicole writes...

Beautiful. Simply, beautiful. (The image and your post.:))

patience writes...

Today? What would I do today?

Go get my kids out of school and bundle everyone up very well...
Go throw rocks into the river
Collect pretty changing leaves
Head over to Maymont and roll down a hill
Have pizza for lunch
Go home and climb into bed all together
Drink hot chocolate and read books, watch movies...

Jeannine writes...

wow, this is much harder than you think but such a wonderful idea. Live every day in the moment and be completely present for your kids and yourself. As I think more about this the options become endless. Will report back tomorrow. :)

Marica writes...

awww, Jen, this is such a good post.
I have to say, of a mother of a senior in high school, and my baby is a fresheman in high school...find the time to make this happen today. Find the time to soak it up and enjoy every second and its full worth today, because those little boogers grow up! And, you know, they are fine, no matter the preschool, they aren't criminals, gifted and talented or no...because if you use heartful parenting they turn out alright, even if you make some mistakes and miss some thing...
But...I can say...when they get big and won't let you smell their hair anymore, or play in the water colors with you, your heart aches for those moments.
So live in those moments today!
Make every moment count!

Kirsten Michelle writes...

oh goodness, jen, what a precious image.
it's hard to believe, at 5 and 9, their feet were ever so tiny...
it all goes by so very fast indeed.
thank you for this beautiful quote and gentle reminder.

just for today::

i'd love to YES ~ with a warm smile and a heart wide open to a day full of magical adventuring.

marcy writes...

thanks, it is always nice to be reminded that as parents and as human beings we share this struggle...this worry. The one true thing I would do is sit 100% with my children and let the day unfold.

Naomi writes...

We are 100% eating snow today. It has just fallen and instead of getting after them about the mess in the house, or even that the itty one is ONLY in a diaper ...

We're running in and out ... just to the deck... all day today ... to eat snow!

chel writes...

Listen, watch in awe and play with them.

Elizabeth writes...

Can you please send me this reminder every day?! It is simply the most important thing to remember, thank you!

HLiza writes...

I will just bring them all to the beach..or that big Aquarium in the city to enjoy ourselves all day..and forget about the need to deal with my son's reading problem, my eldest daughter's problem with our National Language or my baby's teething fever today. I just need to see them laugh and laugh and marvel and enjoy!

Lisa writes...

Amazing photo!

Great quote!

As a childless woman, this can be a tough site for me to visit...but seeing the incredible work of the SuperSisters makes it worth stopping by on occasion.

Thanks :-)

Yertle writes...

What a beautiful photo and post.

I would play monster trucks with real presence and find the fun in it for me.

I would watch Finding Nemo again with real presence and enjoy my son's love for it.

I would turn off my blackberry.

I would just BE with them without worrying about what I needed to DO.

Susan writes...

Well, my child is asleep now, so unless I'm crazy I'll let him be...but today we carved pumpkins! I always feel like I'm distracted when we're together. I own a small business and there are always things on my mind. And if it's not that, it's how dirty the house is or what am I'm going to make magically appear for dinner. Today was pumpkin day though! After school we came home and tag teamed our way through 3 whole pumpkins. He drew the designs on paper and I used the knife to make the designs come to life. We celebrated our team work and admired our pumpkins together. Yippee! It was so fun.

Becky writes...

I would forget about school and everything else, keep everyone home, stay in our pjs, all climb into the same bed and watch our favorite movies all day long and eat whatever we wanted - in bed! A day of total snuggling with all 3 kids - that's awesome.

Kelly writes...

I would reduce the number of words exiting my mouth by 90%.

Jeannine writes...

Kelly, what a great response! and Becky's idea of spending the day in pjs is too awesome for words!

Jennifer writes...

That' s a beautiful pict... By the way you are so right, I have a beautiful baby girl and when she was born i was so worry about everything, my friends usually said "Don't hold her so much because she is going to accostum, one day i realized that i was so wrong, i said i should enjoy this moment as much as i can because she is going to grow up and then is going to be later... Now i do it, i enjoy each moment with her and i dont pay attention what people say, I love my daugther and now i feel better doing what i think is good for her and for me. I love that book is very good!

Kelly writes...

Today? We would sleep late and "cuddle buddle" for as long as possible....

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