My wife and I have been learning a lot as we try to wrangle our two-year old daughter.
One of the interesting things lately has been the fact that she doesn’t seem to comprehend the word, “tomorrow”.
We have been saying things like:
We’re going on a little family trip tomorrow.
Guess who is coming to visit tomorrow?
We can watch that show tomorrow morning at breakfast.
Our daughter is pretty good with a lot of things, but that word doesn’t seem to register. When we tell her something she thinks that it’s going to happen right now.
Like the one about going on a trip. She got excited and started walking to get her coat and shoes. She thought we were going on the trip right away.
So it’s been a learning curve and my wife and I have gotten better in a hurry. We’re doing our best to avoid talking about the future with our daughter.
We’ve even caught ourselves talking about things that we’re thinking about doing later in the day. We don’t want to get our daughter too excited only to let her down. She doesn’t know what time is really. “An hour from now” doesn’t mean anything to her.
As I think about it, it’s all been a really positive thing for my own frame of thinking. My daughter loves life. Sure, she gets frustrated and angry and sad and scared sometimes. But for the most part she’s about as happy as a person can be. Most things are new and even if they aren’t new she’s curious and interested.
She lives in the moment.
There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of mindfulness or staying in the moment or whatever. I think it’s a good trend. Another thing I’ve tried to do with my daughter since the beginning is not keep my phone camera with me all the time. I don’t want to document the moments as much as I want to experience them.
Maybe that’s a little old school, but I’m trying to take a page from my daughter’s life…right now is what matters.
My daughter is a perfect example of the benefits of mindfulness. And she does it naturally. We all did at some point. Somewhere along the way we learn to think about the future and past. If we’re lucky, we get back to our natural state of living in the moment.
Thankfully, I’ve been getting back to that thanks to my daughter.