Being mindful while playing with my nephews:
Today we have my two young nephews here. Ages three and six. All day long.
While I absolutely love playing with the little munchkins, I’m usually wiped out after half an hour or so and have to go and rest. So I try to make every second I spend with them count.
The eldest Callum is really into doing mazes at the moment. I’d printed a few off for him so we could sit together and have some quiet, creative time.
Of course, little Thomas wanted to get in on the action and climbed onto my lap. And while Callum got stuck into helping the dragon find his egg, Thomas scribbled on a dot-to-dot.
It was a precious half hour spent.
I always try to make sure I am fully present when I am with them. That I am Mindful Auntie Helen instead of Distracted Auntie Helen. I listen to what they have to say and I devote my whole attention to them and what they want to do.
I truly think one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is your full attention, adults and children alike. Especially when we live in a society that is very much attached to our smart phones and bombarded with distractions from every direction.
I sense that the boys appreciate it too. So much so, that later in the day Callum excitedly burst into my room to tell me what they’d just got up to in the park, and Thomas declared me his best friend when his mummy came to collect him.
Heart melt moments.
My nephews are also my inspiring teachers. They live and play wholeheartedly in the present moment.
Like when Thomas hears music, he leaps up to dance around with unabashed freedom. Or a minute after crying uncontrollably, he is playing happily, all previous upset forgotten.
And like when Callum wants me to play with him, he means now, not “in a bit”. Or when he plays his computer games, he completely disappears into that moment.
Unlike adults, children don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future, and this is one of the biggest lessons I am learning on my recovery journey.
It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes about living in the present moment:
“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.
― A.A. Milne
So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while playing with my nephews.