A Moment Lost

a moment lost

I was busy, engrossed, focused on finishing the job I was doing. I heard the excited voice from the distance.

“MUM! MUM! MUM! I have to show you something really exciting! Come!”

It was my 4-year-old son. His voice was overflowing from extreme excitement. I heard this special eagerness in his voice but I was so engrossed on finishing what I was doing, I didn’t process it right away. I heard it but I didn’t listen.

Without turning around, I said, “Just a minute son.  Just wait. I  have to finish this.”

He was quiet. He wasn’t upset. He waited.

It was a good 5 minutes before I finished, and by then, my son had run back over to his dad.

I joined them. “Son, what did you want to show me?”

The climax of the excitement had past. The sparkle in his voice had faded into a glow. Son pointed to a nearby tree and said, “Dad and I, we saw cockatoos! Up in the tree.”

I smiled, but I immediately felt, not so much guilt, but sadness. Especially when my husband recounted the amazing things the birds were doing and how much fun they were having together.

Why was this, a moment lost?   You know, I don’t pander to my children’s every whim and desire. Nor do I believe I need to immediately respond to every interruption from my children for them to be emotionally stable.  No. That is not what this is about. This was a moment lost because it was a moment worth investing in. And it’s gone now.

I missed reinforcing the strength in the relationship between father and son.

“Did you and Dad see that? Together?”

I missed affirming the importance of looking around and noticing nature.

“It’s amazing: all the wonderful things you can see, isn’t it?”

I missed encouraging my son to live joyfully.

“I’m so glad you spotted that! Thank you for sharing it with me.”

I missed a potential educational teaching moment.

“What sort of bird are they again? Maybe when we are home we can look it up in Miss 8’s Australian Bird Watching Guide.”

I missed being the first-person-I want-to-tell person.

How long will I be that someone in his life I wonder?

I missed seeing the excited sparkle in his eyes.

They are sapphire blue, and they look almost purple when he is excited.

I missed his wide I’ve-found-something smile.

Teeth showing. Mouth in a wide O.

I’m not beating myself up here — I’ve invested in many such moments in my parenting career before and I don’t believe this missed moment will break everything we have — no; but I feel a little sad. Sad that I missed investing in that moment. Sad the moment, is now lost.

Being wise and investing in moments that count, I believe, creates a positive big picture over time, despite the ups and downs.  What makes one moment worth investing in over others? All moments are precious but there are some I look for especially.

Moments that reinforce foundations and values

Moments that edify relationships

Moments of reconciliation after sadness or discipline

Moments of pure excitement

Poignant moments like this one

Moments that encourage creative thinking

Teachable moments

Just before bed moments

Moments after a great achievement

The moment I greet my kids when I pick them up from school

Trusting your gut moments like this one

Still moments of magic beauty

I miss golden moments like this one sometimes, and I’m sure it will happen again, but I’ll continue learn from my mistakes as I strive to be wise in investing in the moments that matter most.

A moment lost. A lesson learned.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

Latest posts by Kelly - Be A Fun Mum (see all)

Comments

  1. Oana says

    Beautiful post! I completely related to it. I also feel that little significant moments like these are important to our happiness and relationships. There is nothing more wonderful and rewarding for a mother that watching her kid excited about a wonderful discovery, also makes us see the world (cokatoos included) in a fresh light.

  2. says

    Agree beautiful post Kelly. You are so right, you actually nailed all the moments worth investing in, so succinctly. The teachable ones (had one of those myself just recently), reconciliation dispersed amongst the ones that bring utter joy seeing their faces when you’ve been parted for a little time or conquering a fear/great achievement/milestone are all moments that we live and breath for – it’s hard to remember all of those when you miss one and it’s not because we devalue the moments but because we wear so many hats on any given day.

    Your wisdom and ability to reflect and provide a wonderful insight despite the moment that was lost has been gratefully received :) *hugs* to you and yours….

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing this – it certainly puts life in perspective doesn’t it. I agree too with Oana.
    I love how you wrote what you missed with an example question. You have a wonderful insight.

  4. Kelly says

    WOW! Way to bring it into perspective! I cried whilst reading this, as I do it daily (possibly even hourly) with my Master 4 and Miss 2 :(
    I now promise myself to change and stop asking them to wait whilst I finish something – which is usually just a household chore and not interesting at all.

    Thank you for sharing and writing such a beautiful blog! xo

  5. says

    Missing the moment is something I can strongly relate to as a busy mum. Lately I have been looking at my 3 girls and feel that urge in my heart that they are growing up so fast. I must invest in these moments more and take each one as the opportunity arises!
    Such a beautiful post Kelly…..I always enjoy reading your posts each week. *hugs*

  6. says

    I absolutely love this post. I read it a few days ago but was so busy with ‘moments’ to comment – the irony! – truly! I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought this same thing or realised too late that I missed the moment. And that’s when I try to backpedal and say ‘what was it you were showing me darling?’… and realise that I’ve missed it. There’s nothing quite like sharing that moment of discovery and wonder with your child. I think these are the things they will treasure the most.

    I love your list of moments. It has inspired me to take note of more of them as we go. Thank you for such beautiful writing.

  7. says

    Hi there, what an awesome post. I do want to also add though… it is also great that your child’s father was there. It was indeed a moment shared together … with his father. Sometimes it’s nice for two of them to have a moment… not everything has to be shared with both parents. I love and live with my husband, we have a family that is together and I work – but something that I have learnt to love so much is when I hear stories that my children have had when they’ve gone out and experienced things together with their Dad. By all means, it’s nice they wanted to also share it with you and I most definitely hear you in regards to the reflection – but it is also nice that he was there to share it with his son. These days with separate living being so prevalent – that is something that is truly precious :)

  8. says

    This is so lovely Kelly. This happened to me just yesterday and I so wish I didn’t let it. Maksi was sitting in his highchair and Leo on daddy’s lap and for the first time they were really interacting. Maksi was doing a high pitched laugh and leo was squealing back. Aleks was in awe of them and kept calling me over but I was focused on finishing dinner and missed it.

  9. Elizabeth says

    oh my Kell, that strikes a deep cord…especially the first person I want to tell moment! It’s something I have been struck with lately

  10. BekahBel says

    I have these moments too, but lately I have been feeling sad by the reverse lost moments. When I try to point out something that I know my kids will love and be excited about, but they are too distracted to see it, or they turn their heads in the wrong direction. That’s just one less smile, one less laugh, one less shining eyes moment for that day. It’s not a big deal, there are plenty of other moments, plenty more years in fact, but still, it is a moment lost. Thank goodness I don’t keep count of all those lost moments or I’d be a blubbering mess haha

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