As my daughter discovers her ego (in every sense of the word), she has developed a very cute habit of grabbing my hand and saying “waaa” in her heart-melting little voice as she leads me “walking” to whatever destination she has planned.  I took a moment to reflect on this and discovered some interesting things.

First, I realize that I’m trying to teach her about life and its inescapable time-space continuum.  You know, “honey, if you do ‘x’ now, you can’t have ‘z’ later.” Currently, she’s blissfully unaware of the difference between the “now” and any other time—and it’s apparently a hard thing to learn (and why would she want to?).  Of course, since I comprehend the idea of “before” and “after,” I observe that I spend much of my time in these moments rather than the “present.”

Second, I often find myself in a rush to get things done, whether it’s cooking dinner, getting to work, or trying to squeeze in a few minutes to post a blog.  I lament the leisure time I hazily remember in the annals of my memory, kind of like the $0.99 per gallon of gas from my childhood.  My daughter has no such pressures or responsibilities.  As Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory once observed: “We have to take in nourishment, expel waste, and inhale enough oxygen to keep our cells from dying. Everything else is optional.”

Third, I found that my daughter suffers from none of the above.  She cheerfully lives in the moment, concerned only with what “foo” she wants from the fridge or what toy will momentarily entertain her in a seemingly never-ending quest to make our living room floor a walking hazard of plastic and wood baubles.  Any frustration she has stems from not being satisfied in that very moment that a need of hers fails to be met (like a little Zen Buddhist who hasn’t quite detached herself from her temper).  Her whole world is spent living in the present.

So next time she grabs my hand, I think I’ll take a deep breath, slow down, and take a walk in the moment to wherever she may lead.

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