Daddy, Let’s Sit On The Bench

bench

As part of our morning routine my son and I have begun stopping by the wharf before I drop him off at daycare. We only stay a few minutes, but they are precious minutes to both of us. I always try to keep the pace quick so that I am not late for work. But today something different happened.

Today my son asked if we could stop and sit on the bench.

What?

This surprised me because I didn’t think that three-year old boys ever stopped moving.

But we did. Just for a moment. There was no one there to take our picture, and I was not about to take a “selfie”, so I took a step back and snapped one.

Once I saw the photo I knew that, besides being adorable, it had something to teach me. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I knew it would come. I kept searching for a deep meaning and could come up with none. Then it hit me!

My son just wanted to sit for a moment and take in the view. And that was fine with me. It didn’t last long. Maybe only about thirty seconds. But that was enough for him. At least on this day.

As I studied the picture above I wondered how often we allow our students, our staff, ourselves to simply stop and take in the view. In our world of timed tests, frequent deadlines and next steps, stopping for just a moment is something that rarely takes place.

For some reason we feel obligated to fill ever single moment with something “meaningful”, as if a moments can’t be meaningful by themselves. I don’t pretend to speak for Time, but I think that moments have a way finding meaning for themselves if we just let them unfold. They do not need our help. In fact, they probably wish we would just get out of their way.

I have a calendar on my phone, my Ipad, my desktop and on the wall at home. I make to-do lists so that I can get as much accomplished as possible. And they work okay. But I think that too often I am missing out on moments because I am to busy scheduling or thinking about time.

The same holds true for our children.

Our students.

Our staff.

Ourselves.

We need to allow moments to happen and not always feel as if we have to plan them. They have a way of simply unfolding if we just let them.

I am grateful that yesterday my son asked to stop and sit on the bench. I had many other scheduled events that took place that day,

but moments?

One stood out.

Today I will hope for more, I just won’t plan them.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. We had a moment in class yesterday. For the first time ever for me, I read OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO to my 7th graders (our last day in core classes). I’d forgotten how dark it could get – and we got to a place in the book where “There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.” I stopped in my tracks. I thought of the sign that’s out on the corner next to the school parking lot. It’s for a run this Sunday, “Gina’s Gallop,” to help the Safe Foundation – for suicide awareness. It’s named after a previous student of ours who committed suicide. I took the time (although I never finished the book – darn bell schedule!) to tell my students that no matter how dark it gets, or how confused you may be, you can ALWAYS come to ANY teacher at our school to help you through it. Then we took the time to remember and answer questions about Gina. I hope they remember this small moment if they are ever in trouble. I’m with you, Jon. I get it.

  2. Well said Jon. Your post reminded me of the movies, “For Love of the Game” and “Hoosiers”. In Hoosiers, I’ll never forget the scene when everyone stops in the huddle and Jimmy says, “I’ll make it.” Everything slowed down in the moment. There was a sense of calmness in a highly stressful situation. In, “For Love of the Game”, Kevin Costner is pitching and the crowd is going nuts. He then says, “Turn on the Mechanism”. When this happens everything around him slows down and he is able to focus on what really matters. Your post made me think back to moments in my life that I was able to slow down. I agree, we don’t do it enough.

    I’m glad you were about to spend a moment with your son, I bet you will now have many more of those moments…

    Thanks for the post, it was a nice reminder going into our final 3 1/2 days of the school year.

    -Ben

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