“It’s loud here.”
It was an interesting comment, I thought, and it intrigued me. My daughter and I were sitting along the river amongst acres of beautiful parklands. There was a window of time of about half an hour between appointments and we wasted it here. Trees towered around us in every direction, and while busy, I would describe it as a peaceful, tranquil place, not a loud one.
Wanting to tap into her senses, I responded with a question. “What can you hear?”
I can hear cars, she began.
I can hear birds.
I can hear the water.
I can hear “reet-reet” in the boats.
I can hear the trees.
I can hear my voice.
I can hear that you laughed.
“And what can you feel?” I said, delighting in her responses.
I can feel the wind, she said.
“And how does that feel?”
I can feel your arms around me.
“And how does that make you feel?”
Even more wonderful.
I can feel my clothes.
I can feel my skin.
“What about the bark on that tree? Go and feel it and see.” I watched her polkadot callot shorts swish around her legs as she walked.
It feels bumpy, she said.
“And what can you see?”
We were becoming completely immersed in everything around us.
I can see the water.
“What colour is it?”
It looks like a sewer.
“I’m going to think of it as chocolate…”
…milk, she finished the sentence for me.
“See how the sun sparkles on the water there? And look at that boat with the red stripes.”
I can see the trees.
I can see the bridge.
I can see the bird.
Can I take a picture of the bird? I want to show Pip when I get home and she will think it’s beautiful.
And so the conversation ended.
I departed from that pocket of time with an immense feeling of happiness. Glee even.
I grabbed the small hand beside me and gushed, “This is the best moment of the week. How special was it that we could be here together like this! I am so happy you’re my daughter.”
I can’t believe you’re my mum because you’re so wonderful, she responded.
I dropped her hand and curved my arm around her in a walking-hug.
We walked thus, out of the gates, leaving that bubble of time, and into the rest of the day.
Storybook moments: they come sometimes.
I’m reminded that it’s important to take time, to waste time with my little ones.
Because wasted time like this, isn’t a waste of time.
Yes. Time wasted. Well spent.
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