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Being Present

I hope everyone had the BEST 4th of July! I sure did. Zeb, Leah, and I left Wednesday night to head to the lake for a fun, relaxing weekend. On Thursday night, we loaded her up in to the car, grabbed blankets, toys, and snacks went to go find a good parking spot before the firework show began. We parked the car and got all set up with our chairs and blankets. There were so many cars parked all around with music playing and kids screaming. There was an amateur “early bird” firework show, where people at home set off the fireworks that they had spent tons of money on before the sun even went down. Leah was smiling at the booming of the fireworks and giggling as the cars went by, so I naturally took out my phone and snapped a few pictures of her! It was her first 4th of July after all and I wanted to have pictures to remember it by. Once I took some photos, I put my phone away and played with the baby, watching her excitement at all of the new things. It was so fun, so sweet, and so special. Once the real fireworks started, Leah hit her wall (that’s what we call it when she gets too tired and too cranky to possibly stay awake anymore). So I ended up rocking her, putting her to sleep, and believe it or not, she slept through the whole firework show. While I was watching the fireworks and holding my sleeping baby, I glanced over to a truck that was parked ahead of us and noticed a young couple having their picture taken. The photographer — who looked like one of their moms — was waiting to snap the photo of them until a firework went off and I thought to myself, “Oh sweet! What I pretty picture that’ll be.” But then I realized what was really happening. They spent about 10 minutes having the photos taken. Between switching up their poses and looking at their phone to make sure they liked the photos, they missed a HUGE chunk of the firework show! I imagined them posting their photos to Instagram with a caption saying “Watching fireworks w/ my love!” I felt so sad that while they were trying to capture the moment in photos, they missed being in the moment at all. It was also a great reminder to me to be more present everyday with Leah and Zeb. It’s so easy as a Mama to take out your phone and snap a photo. Then you post it to Instagram or Facebook with the perfect caption — and if you’re already on Instagram, why not scroll to see what’s new on there? Oh and while you’re at it you should just check Facebook, too. It’s SO easy to fall into rabbit holes on your phone and miss being present with your kids and family. So while I had actually been very present with my family that day (having zero phone service at the lake helped), watching that young couple made me think about how much I have failed to put my phone down and be in the moment. With all that being said, it’s my personal goal for the rest of the summer to keep off of my phone and soak up all of the family time that I can get. It’s never too late to give your family the gift of being present.

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