The other day I was singing to Sammy. It was one of those ‘I wish I could capture this moment forever’ times and I grabbed my camera in an attempt to do so. Samuel was singing back to me. It was the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard and the smiles on his face could melt you. Okay Momma, you’ve got to grab this moment because it…is…so…precious…
Phone comes out.
Bye bye smiles.
Bye bye baby singing.
Bye bye any semblance of joy in that baby’s face whatsoever.
He was all like, “I am having a nice conversation with you and then you go and ruin it by sticking that thing in my face!”
I know babies prefer faces. I haven’t known a child who keeps that sweet baby grin on when you replace a sweet Mommy face for the back of a dull phone, but as I was sitting there will Samuel it got me to thinking that I am pretty much the same way.
I try to keep up. I promise you I do. And my lack of Facebook liking and commenting is not even slightly connected to the amount of love I have for my family and friends that are so good at Facebooking, Twittering, and Instagramming. Its just, I clam up when it comes to screens. They suck the smile right out of me. Right. Out. Of. Me.
I think this is partly due to the fact that every time I go to attempt to do something online it blows up in my face. Afterall it is not easy finding the perfect filter to adorn a picture to post on Instagram and it usually takes me a hot minute (or 10) to finally pick one. It never fails that as my face falls deeper and deeper into an Instagram trance my children find someway of taking advantage. It usually all ends with something like this:
“For the love!!! How many times have I told you NOT to crush cereal with my lemon squeezer! This is not an okay game!!”
“Seriously?? What makes you think that wetting toilet paper and throwing it on the mirror is okay? You have gotten in trouble for this multiple times!”
“Um no, Samuel did not need another blanket…he was fast asleep!! Ahhhh!!!”
All because of face. in. phone. True story.
I want to not hate it all, but it’s just caused some drastic consequences of frazzledness in my life. My hands can mult-task at ten things at once but my brain is only capable of one at a time. When I am screening, my brain is occupied, and the flesh and blood around me take notice. So I have had to, for the sake of all that is holy and good in my house, attempt to keep one solid and fast rule: if I am having face time with someone I cannot be on screen time.
Considering the fact that I have four children and one husband who works from home this leaves me with about, um, zero minutes per day. But its been a sacrifice I have to make. I’ve often prayed that this rule, my choice, my “this is what I have to do in order to stay sane” has not been offensive. I can say with all honesty and sincerity that the times I have quickly perused through Facebook or Instagram my thoughts often sound like:
“Awww, that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen” or
“Oh my goodness I miss them so much, I wish we were closer” or
“Wow what an amazing family they have”
But I just can not keep up. For that I am sorry.
I pray that this makes me a better wife, mommy, friend, daughter, sister, neighbor…that is my goal afterall. But I also recognize that sometimes it could have the opposite effect. When I can’t pick up the phone or answer a text because I’m reading books, making lunch, driving kids around, eating lunch with someone, having dinner with the fam (insert anything and everything). Or when I don’t get to wish happy birthday to all the many amazing people who said so to me. Or when friends’ kids are growing up afar and I don’t get to dote on them to extent that I wish. All of these things are never my intention.
In a season when the days are long and the years are short, I don’t have much time for extras and pretty much anything that makes opportunities for me to use phrases like “For the love,” “Seriously,” “Or are you kidding me”…well if they are optional then they have to go. I need to hone in and laser focus on what’s right in front of me. Its my only hope for loving well those that God has entrusted with.
So as the world goes along hashtagging and filtering and posting the worlds most hilarious videos that make me never want to stop…looking…for…more…(ahem Chick Fila Mommy Video)…here I sit firmly in the middle. Staking claim that there is goodness and community and oneness that can come from those screens, but there is also life suckingness and emptiness that can come too. And, I owe it to you, to my kiddos, to my husband, to whomever God has placed face to face in my path for the day…I am here for you…I am yours right now…and I want to know how I can love on you in this moment while I have you here. Amen, and Amen.