Living Here and Now
Sometimes, on my way home, I watch mothers with their young children. Obviously they have fetched them from kindergarten, and now both are on their way home, or on their way to the next supermarket. Mom looks on her watch. You can see that she’s got a certain schedule in her mind (“must get food for dinner. Dinner must be ready at 7pm, otherwise hungry husband gets angry”). Little boy or girl is lagging behind and stops. A little dog has caught his attention, and he squats down to pat it. Mom has discovered that her child is not with her anymore, turns around and grabs her boy.
The little boy is making noises at the dog, and the dog is obviously enjoying his attention. The boy doesn’t want to go away. Here is a sweet little dog, swishing its tail, even throwing itself on its back in order to be patted on its tummy.
His mom is not stone-hearted. She notices the way her boy is acting – carefully patting the dog, making calming noises, and is proud of him. But she’s got that schedule in her head and wants to keep to it. So she says “Come on, we’ve got to go, daddy is waiting at home and wants to have his dinner”. No reaction. Her boy doesn’t care about the future. He’s focused on the here and now.
Here my story ends. We adults have our schedules. We go from A to Z in order to reach the office, the bus, to do the shopping, to meet someone at a certain time. We don’t want to get lost in the here and now. But I think that is something we should learn from children: to get distracted – to get distracted by the song of a bird, by the color of a flower, the tail-swishing of a dog.
This is a contribution to Robert Hruzek’s Group Writing Project “What I learned from Children” over at Middlezone Musings.