I crave the beach like most people crave caffeine. This past weekend I went on a trip to Cancun with my sister, only my sister. With that being said, I rarely travel without my mini side kick Grayson. Pretty much I'm saying I don't. I don't like to leave my child. Plain and simple, I want him with me all the time. Maybe I'm weird, maybe I'm unlike most people, maybe I have separation anxiety issues from my kid (I do.) He's just all around a pretty amazing little dude and I'm happier when he's around.
However, this trip was one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself. I feel rejuvenated and I know I am more myself than I have been in a while. I found me again at the beach. I reevaluated my priorities and how I interact with others. I reflected on how my attitude has changed some over the past year or so because let's face it, I'm a tired mama.
What I noticed while watching others during my own rare free time was eye-opening. From the outside looking in, humans appear to be void robots staring straight down at some type of device all of the time. Society now tends to simply coexist with one another. Conversations are no longer full of life and energy. People are revolving their lives around capturing the perfect "selfie" to post online for others to glance at for approximately .02 seconds before hitting a "like" button. I watched people spend 30 minutes pretending to be happy with fake smiles for the camera only to follow that by appearing miserable and bored once it was put away. I find it tragic that the majority of photos I see posted probably come from some sort of fake scenario such as this. People are so focused on capturing or documenting every waking moment, that I think many are forgetting to truly live. Let's get real people!
I can say with 100% certainty that I have wholeheartedly made a conscious effort to cherish every moment I have had with Grayson since God placed him in my care. Due to my observations, I made the decision to go hands free when I arrived home. On the plane ride home, I began reading the book "Hands Free Mama" to further motivate myself. I asked God to reveal to me times that I haven't given my loved ones the undivided attention that they deserve and to convict my heart if I begin to make that mistake again.
As soon as I walked in the door, Grayson wrapped his arms around my neck as tight as he ever has and held on for several minutes. I immediately ditched my phone onto the charger in my bedroom and took him outside to play. Instead of capturing 500 photos of him swinging to remember the special moment that would have actually been me watching him swing through a screen, I poured my soul into interacting with him. Instead of a photograph I have whole memories instead of parts of memories. I pushed him in his swing as he shared details of his entire weekend and struggled to find the perfect words somewhere in his rapidly growing 2 year old mind. He said "I'm happy" which was music to my ears. I told him "I'm happy too!" He then requested it be my turn and he pushed me in the swing as we chatted some more. He held my hand and led me all over the backyard looking for new things to discover together. "Come on Mama! Let's go!" We inspected several different types of bugs, watched airplanes fly by, chased birds and talked about the moon. We splashed in the water, dug in the dirt and got really messy. He then got in the bath, talked about his "booboos" and all of the bubbles, then requested to get out so I could "hold him like a baby." I happily obliged. After that, he was ready to "drink moo (milk) and go night night." In bed, he said "hold me mama!" Again, I happily obliged. I collected a goodnight kiss as he was drifting off to sleep. He is still holding onto my arm.
I felt overwhelmingly compelled to write this blog tonight in case anybody else had the feeling that something just isn't quite right with the way we interact these days. I highly recommend the book "Hands Free Mama." I am beyond thankful that I had this revelation and can stop making excuses and begin to truly focus on who and what is important in my life sooner rather than later.