no better place

On Monday, I wrote about re-finding the joy and beauty in right now.

Yesterday morning, I really saw how much time my kids are spending on-screen between classes and fun. I saw, too, how this is leading them to lose touch with the physical world. now; even when screen time ends, their minds often linger on their online adventures straight through to bedtime.

I wondered whether there were some little ways I could help keep them more grounded in the very physical now, and less lost in online spaces around the clock. I landed on a few simple ones.

First, I had them help me with a load of laundry. Astonishingly, they’d never participated in a whole cycle, beginning to end!

For me, though, the real magic was in the kitchen.

I asked my husband to walk our older son through making salmon. As I worked at my desk, I heard snippets of that conversation and smiled: The little dude really was here and now! On top of that, he was learning how to do more than scramble eggs, a knowing that will serve him well sooner than later.

A little later, I walked my newly six-year-old son through a smaller task: warming a pre-made cottage pie we’d bought from our favorite farmer’s market vendor.

Until yesterday, I don’t think I’d ever realized how many steps there are in such a seemingly small endeavor! Sharing each of them with my littler one helped me appreciate each.

First, I had Littler turn on the oven. I explained, “For this, it needs to be 425 degrees. We know this because it says so on these instructions here.” I showed him the instructions before telling him we’d continue the process after the oven beeped: “The beep will mean it’s hot enough.”

When we heard the beep about fifteen minutes later, I had Littler washed his hands thoroughly. I coached him through pulling back the seal around the edges of the tin so that he could pull off the cover.

Afterward, he put on oven mitts and held the cottage pie while I opened the oven door. I pointed out the best place for him to stand to minimize opportunities for exposure to heated surfaces, then watched as he carefully placed the pie on the top rack.

I helped him put the mitts back where they belong. As I did, he asked if he got to pull out the pie, too! He was thrilled when I said he could.

When we later pulled out the pie, together, he was still beaming at his part . He’d done that!

He did not, mind you, beam at the onions he found in the cottage pie. Everything else, he endorsed.

While helping Littler be here for that now then, I ended up getting my own lovely practice simply being here now.

The more I practice, the more I find there’s no place than now I’d rather be.

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