Today I licked an ice cream cone.
Not just gulped down calories. No, I licked that cone as a child would—taste buds welcoming flavor. Tantalized by simplicity. Expectant of joy upon joy.
And then I looked up: up into the eyes of my son. Up into eyes wide like mine. Inhaling life, exhaling smiles.
He and I licked our cones, and I wondered in the foggy corners of this joyful experience, why don’t I live—fully awake—more often? What keeps simple moments from exploding with joy? What is the difference between a child and an adult?
Living in the moment seems to be the key to unlocking the door back into the chambers of childhood. Instead of attempting to use all five senses at once while worrying about the future, doesn’t a child seem to use one at a time?
In that moment, all that Henry is concerned about is tasting vanilla and chocolate twisted up into a slowly melting blob. He is fully present with the matter at hand. But as an adult, what am I doing? Scanning the room. Scanning the future in the constantly changing pictures of my mind. Scanning my phone for the weather. Scanning Henry’s face for dribbles from his precarious eating technique. Oh, yeah, and I’m eating a cone. But am I even tasting it? Am I so busy multitasking internally and externally that I’ve forgotten to simply be?
So this may seem silly when speaking about a cone, but then again, maybe not.
Maybe this is just one example of a world of adults gone mad on multitasking. I want to unlearn hyper-productivity. To slow down enough to remember I exist. To let go of the robotic mentality so pervasive in our culture.
I want to smell the laundry as I fold clothes. Taste the morning coffee. Feel the skin on my chid’s forehead as I kiss her before the bus.
I want to relearn how to feel just one moment at a time.
To be present, I need to do less all at once. To leave room to breath deeply and ground myself in the moment I’ve been given.
Inhale. Exhale. Let my son dribble sticky chocolate ice cream, because, really, it’s just part of the moment we’re in.
Author: Katie Kronberg
Image: Alex Jones/Unsplash
Editor: Emily Bartran