I had the rare moment last week to spend some one-on-one time with my oldest child.
We were driving and sharing a delicious peach shake, passing it back and forth from front seat to back. The windows were down as we sang along to the radio until we came to a red light. And then my simple, quiet 7-year-old son looked at the driver next to us and said something so profound, “Mommy, why does everyone always stare into their phones? It’s not like the whole world is in there. They need to look up more.”
We are going through life at such a rapid pace that I think as adults we don’t notice it much. But if we take a moment to peer through the eyes of a child, it must look odd. Sunsets, trees, old buildings, people and living in one of the most beautiful places in the world and so many are staring into a screen, looking for fulfillment to jump out of a device. We can’t even sit at a stoplight taking in the view around us without so many feeling that pull to check text messages, email or some form of social media. It hit me, convicted me and has stuck with me so much.
My kids are growing rapidly and I don’t want snapshots posted to Facebook to ever overtake the feelings those memories give me when I close my eyes and put myself right back into a place in the past where their smiles melted my heart or their cuddles made me feel right at home.
I don’t want anyone to feel like they own my time, and that their email demands time over what is happening around the supper table. I hate the thought of my husband and I sitting side by side silently as we scroll through the lives of others and ignore the beauty our life provides.
One thing I have gotten my kids to do is that when we try a new or particularly delicious food, we close our eyes and try to distinguish the flavors and ingredients without our eyes.
I want them to create a life filled with more knowledge from their own senses than from what the world is throwing at them. I want them to have the freedom that seems so rare to others as the world is becoming slaves to technology.
This week, let’s all take the time to appreciate the beauty around us, breathe in slowly, smells the roses and spend more time just looking up.