Friday, February 15, 2008

Papi, watch me!

One of the boys' favorite things to do is have us watch them do things. "Papi/Mommy, watch me!" is a common refrain heard in these parts. Whether it's for jumping on the bed, thowing rocks, riding a scooter, or flying their airplane or writing their letters, they always love to have us "watch them". And watching them really means: Mommy/Papi, tell me that you see me doing something and tell me that you are proud of me. The reponse to the call is "I see you! Great job!" I am sure most parents can totally relate to this in some way.
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Recently things around here have been pretty dicey. We've been flat-out with work, I've been seriously distracted, Heather's pregnant (and been sick), we're a family that loves to be outside and the weather's been nasty, it's the dead of winter, tensions have been high, stress has been high, tolerance - low. We have not fully gotten back into a routine after the holidays, we're just not quite in sync.
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And we have not heard "Watch me!" as much. And for me in particular, I almost never hear "Papi, watch me!" When they do say it, they almost always say "Mommy, watch me!" They have just not been getting the attention they need from me. They were not even asking for it, since they were not getting it. And worst of all, I have not even been fully aware this was happening. It had just been slipping away.
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Then we went on our little vacation. We let everything go. We forgot about work, we forgot about stress, we doted on our little boys. We snuggled, we played, I threw them high in the swimming pool, we had special smoothies. It was everything we all needed and wanted.
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About 24 hours into our get-away everything began to change. I started to hear "Papi, watch me!" and again, and again. It was as if a switch had turned back on. It was miraculous and wonderful. I had not even realized I was missing it. Papi watch me jump in the pool, watch me play in the sand, watch me make a face, watch me thow a frisbee, watch me throw a rock, watch me drink my drink, watch me write a letter in the sand;
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Watch me just be me.
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When we got home, we took an extra day off of work to get reoriented. At one point the boys were throwing koosh basketballs in the house into a koosh hoop - and having a great time. Owen wanted me to count how many times he was able to get it in the basket. And of course each time: "Papi, watch me!" After 31 times of getting the koosh in the basketball hoop and over 60 "Papi, watch me!", he wanted me to start over from 1 and count again. By this time Kyle had gotten in on it and there were two sets of "Papi, watch me!" Lots and lots of watch me. And for every one, there was a:
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I am watching you; great job!
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And now we are home and back at it. And I don't want the "Papi, watch me!"'s to go away. And with our lives the way they are, I worry about that and fear they will. It's entirely in my hands to make sure it doesn't.
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I (in particular) have to stay focused on the most important things in life - watching my boys.

3 comments:

erin said...

Great, thoughtful post. I know just what you mean. As exhausting as the "Mommy, look"s can get, I need to remind myself to LOOK! and respond, of course. It is all in our hands -- so much responsibility.

Ani said...

This post made me cry. Our lives have been pretty hectic lately and it has been specially tough on our little guy. I'm turning off the computer right now - someone needs me to watch him ride his tricycle around the house :)

Welcome back guys.

Malia'sMama said...

Braydon you always bring tears to my eyes. Yes, one moment of looking away can cause us to miss sooo much...