Day 22: Child’s play

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.

8 thoughts on “Day 22: Child’s play”

  1. The joy has left this page & jumped right into my spirit, filled my heart with love & my eyes with tears! Powerful! ps. I too love Winnie the Pooh ☺️

  2. Oh I LOVE that quote. Thanks for the reminder Helen, I’m going to get Winnie the Pooh up on my wall!!!

    Man, it’s such a big thing pulling our attention back from technology to be present isn’t it? Sometimes I think my devices are little psychic vampires, robbing me of this moment even while I ‘record’ it on FB, the camera, a text etc. Whoops, then I remember I am in control and can simply leave it behind.

    Hmmmmm…… thanks for the reminder ‘Mindful Auntie Helen’. I want to colour in with the boys now 🙂


    1. You are more than welcome anytime to come and colour in with the boys my lovely. I have lots of mazes already printed out for Callum’s visits this week.
      Technology is so incredible yet leads us away from the present moment – it’s about finding the balance isn’t it. I love and appreciate my weekly unplug/disconnect day, it’s amazing how much extra time and energy I feel I have.
      Right, gotta go, Thomas is playing golf in the garden and here I am not engaging with him. Think I need to reread my post!
      Xxx 🙂

  3. Lovely post. I’m trying to be more mindful in everyday activities. I did some colouring in over the weekend and if my mind wandered I kept bringing it back to the colouring in. We can learn so much from children, animals, trees, flowers, etc in the way they life in the present moment and their ability to ‘just be’ 🙂 I love that quote too! Xxx

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