One of the many changes Covid brought to our lives was a change in the drop off procedures at W’s preschool. As much as I understood and supported their decision, it broke my heart that I would never again hold his hand and walk him into school. That was special time. Our time. And I loved it. Next year, he will be in kindergarten. This was the last year I could really be a part of the beginning and ending of his day. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to all that.
Then, as typically happens, came the blessing in the midst of the new procedures. It came in the shape of my little blonde haired boy climbing out of my car every morning confidently managing his backpack that still seems bigger than he is. Every morning, he turns back to look at me. And every morning he pauses, looks right into my eyes, and with eyes full of intention, he says “Bye Mommy. I love you.” It is so deliberate, so precious, and such a treasure.
What I have taken from him, my wise little boy, is the power of his intention. I’m not an afterthought. He’s not checking off one of the boxes of his morning. He is so fully present in his goodbye, and therefore so am I. Although his little hand may not be in mine anymore, his heart sure is.
This little moment we share inspired me to evaluate how often my eyes are full of intention for my children, for my spouse. How often do I look at them with the presence and space with which he looks at me? Am I listening, truly listening, to the 76th fact about dinosaurs? Am I really hearing the silly math game that’s probably only truly funny if you are 6 years old? Am I present enough in the celebration of the daily wonders of a 2 year old? Am I holding space for professional life challenges that, to me, seem like a lifetime ago? These morning moments and his intentional little eyes have inspired me to be more.
They have inspired me to deepen my own intentions for the ones I love the most because of the way this little boy makes me feel when he does just that. I want their hearts to sing, just like mine. I want them to feel seen and loved, just like I do. I want them to feel, even if it’s just for a moment, that they are the most important thing in the world. Because that’s what W does for me.
So, if the car in front of you in carpool line feels like it’s moving a little bit slower, realize that maybe it’s a moment of intention and it’s changing someone’s whole world.
Find the joy,
Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.