I’m so guilty of wanting to preserve every moment.
Let’s call it what it is: I’m a sentimental memory hoarder. As much as I can easily toss most of my kiddos art work in the trash (shhhh!), I somehow feel compelled to remember and document every moment.
Ironically that currently means having 7,924 photos on my phone yet very few in any sort of printed photo album (I do have solutions in mind for this… just need about seven more hours every day).
The point is that do you know what you’re missing when you watch what your children are doing through your phone or camera, in an effort to somehow capture the moments?
You miss the moments that matter.
I’m reminded of a recent visit to Chuck E Cheese where Sarah was playing skee ball. I took the photo above and then decided to put my phone away, instead of what I’d normally do: hold it in my hand, perhaps take more photos or even not even realize and open up Instagram to aimlessly scroll and read about other people’s lives instead of living my own.
By keeping my phone in my purse, do you know what I saw?
MAGIC. I saw pure magic.
I saw her roll the ball, watched it roll down the lane, and flip up into that incredible little 1,000 point bucket in the corner. Yup, people — in this case, an eight year old! — actually land those shots.
I don’t know who was more elated. We were high five-ing, hugging and living it up like people who just won the lottery.
I know I felt like I did.
Not only did I see her land that seriously awesome shot, I saw her. And, I saw her look at me looking at her.
My brain and memories soaked in every single second and emotion… it was perfection.
It might be only skee ball but something hit me in that moment.
I say I’m more focused on quality time over quantity — yet I don’t practice what I preach, not the way I’d like to at least.
We hold mini computers each day where we can call people, take photos, do banking, meditate, organize our calendar, listen to music, play games, and even a days worth of work.
No wonder we have a hard time removing the glue from our hands to put the thing down.
But study after study tells us how bad it is for us. It’s bad for our happiness, our relationships, our focus and our health.
And, most importantly it’s bad for our kids. It’s bad for them to see us picking a device over them, and it’s bad as they start to model our behaviors.
We all deserve an escape and a break. I think it’s just time I did more of that without grabbing for the phone. I need it as much as they do.