mindfulness parenting

Appreciating Passing Trains

Living in the Now

A train glided along its overhead track. I observed it as it arrived and passed by effortlessly. I seemed to be only one in the car who noticed. Suddenly, I was deafened by screams, squeals and shouts of excitement from the back seat. “Train! Train! Train! Look Mamma! Train!” I saw animated faces, chubby fingers extending from arms not quite long enough to go past the tips of their own noses, eagerly pointing. Restrained firmly in their car seats, they could still manage to get the car bouncing.

“Mom! GO! The light’s turned green.” I snap back from my reminisce to the present moment. I shift the gears of the car and move the car forward.

At the next set of traffic lights, I stole a glance over my shoulder. Seated in the back seat, one child was staring out the window, deep in her own thoughts. The other two children were sharing a private conversation, voices barely audible to me. They were seated in the exact same order from left to right, maintained by habit over the years. Their faces looked familiar against my earlier recollection of adorable tots. Yet no longer.

No one was laughing or squealing any more beneath the train tracks. Simple wonders taken away by time, routine and maturity. Relationships invaded by what we do for each other rather than who we are for each other.

“I want to enjoy the age that I am now, Mamma.” These words sounded so loud and conscious, as they were uttered days later. A wonderful reminder that daily exchanges between parent and child still offer momentous instances, that do not get relived in the future. Cute childhood years are evanescent and disappear all too quickly. Yet there are many new moments in its place to appreciate; surprising exchanges, great conversations as children evolve and mature. There is much happiness and delight in the reactions and antics, tempers and joys, and even doing mundane chores. Look for them. Fulfilment of parenthood is accessible to those who choose to live in the now.

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