As parents, there’s nothing worse than having our children tell us we’ve done a bad job at parenting, and knowing it to be true.
That’s exactly what happened to me this week.
This is a drawing my son made for me. He wrote “mommy” at the top. “It’s a picture of mommy’s pink phone”, he explained.
“It’s a picture of mommy”, he added.
He made a drawing for me during “choice time” at school, folded it up and put in in his backpack. When he got home, he took it out of his backpack carefully, the way any great artist reveals his best work to the public.
Except it wasn’t a drawing of me. It was of my pink phone, as if my pink phone is the one thing that tells it all about me.
“Aha”, I said, with a knot in my throat. The feeling you get when you’ve been caught doing something bad, something you just now suddenly understand how bad it is. That feeling came rushing out of my gut with so much energy that it got tangled up into a knot in my throat. Words didn’t make it out.
Have I allowed this object to interfere in my family life? Am I the mom who’s on her phone so much that her son can’t dissociate her phone from her? Ouch.
This Valentine’s day, my son gave me the most beautiful gift. With honesty, kindness and lightheartedness, he reminded me to be more mindful of when, how and how much I use my phone. To stop using it unless I really need to. To never check my phone during a lunch, dinner or breakfast or when my kids are with me. To forget less what truly matters the most.
The juicy conversation.
The kind smile on kids’ faces. Their unstoppable laughter. Their relentless desire to be silly and to find silly things around them.
The look that contains 1000 beautiful words, of which none need be spoken out loud.
The warm hug.
The snow, the sunshine and the rain.
The “I love you”, “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms”, and “You make me happy” moments.
The goosebump moments, when love and inspiration flow freely from us and to us.
Not the moments in which the phone gets swiped.
My son is four years old, but he knows what truly matters.