Last night I was alone in my house. My kids and husband were at the cottage and I was in fits. I couldn’t focus on any one thing and there were strange noises, gaping silences, and eerie calm to deal with. The daily background hum of berserk when everyone is home – kids fighting in the basement, sports on TV, someone asking me where something is – all combines to make a pulse, that when it’s gone, I am lost. I was still lying awake after midnight, contemplating the mysteries of the universe when it dawned on me.
The best present we can give to the people who are important to us is to be present.
We recently roadtripped to PEI as a family. At one point during the drive, kid1 remarked how great it was to just have time together, all four of us. No one needed to be racing off to soccer, no one was at the dance studio, getting groceries, travelling for work, or even lost online. I took what he said to heart. I’m going to try to be more present.
I want to be around for conversations to take shape. I want to feel a companionable and comforting presence at the end of the couch in the evening, when the kids are in bed and my husband and I finally sit down – him watching sports, me twitching as I fall asleep. I want time in my day to ask the question “What do you want to do?” versus always being on the move to the next thing. Most importantly, I want the people whose presence I treasure to know that I see them as a gift.