While I was thinking how to write about awareness and attention, about living in a moment, collecting thoughts, shortening and lengthening them, Illya showed me the whole idea in 30 seconds.
Think about the feeling when you meet a friend for dinner after just getting back from a fabulous vacation and the enthusiasm you have as you tell him the great experience on this trip. Then, in the middle of your inspiring speech, his phone lights up with a message. He grabs the phone from the table while you continue to talk and texts without any panic on his face (so no fire, no urgency with kids) …. Do you feel this? You just got the message that you are not important. Being present in the moment? No, never heard about it.
Yesterday, after school, Ilya ran up and began telling me emotionally about something. Because I was distracted by my phone, I did as the fictional friend did above. My son shut down within a second. I literally felt it physically. By the time I turned my attention back to his conversation, his fuse had already fizzled. He left silently to play by himself. I’m not sure who felt worse in this situation.
As an old adage goes, treat others as you want them to treat you.