Julie Lyles Carr: One Simple Thing

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Simple Thing



It's an expected duet.

Stirring the soup while going over spelling words. Fielding car pool phone calls while ironing. Imparting life knowledge and wisdom...while scrubbing the interior of a toilet.


I've always been something of a natural multi-tasker. Scientists have asserted that humans cannot cogently think on two subjects at the same time. I'm pretty sure were they to use moms of lots of kids as their study participants, they would find that it's not only possible, it's the norm.

Reading books aloud to the kids while composing grocery lists in my head. Cheerfully chatting of the phone with a friend while giving air traffic control arms signals and the evil eye to a misbehaving six year old.

Sorry to ruin your studies, scientist dudes. This chic's got an eight track playing in her head simultaneously at all times.

But I'm seeing it's not always a good thing.

With all the legitimate tasks and duties and urgencies around me, I find my focus fractured. A lot is getting done...but I'm seemingly out-of-body, my hands accomplishing something in this room while my head has already moved on, cataloging the next event.

But my body is sitting in the floor playing puzzles with a two-year-old.

And I want my mind to pay attention to that.

Because this two-year-old will be three in just a few months. And time has flown. And I want to pay attention. I want to be present. I want to drink this moment in.

One simple thing.

To sit in the floor in the lazy afternoon sunshine, putting chunky wooden pieces of pictures of trains and buses into a pre-cut puzzle tray. Listening to the babble of this toddler. Memorizing the moment.

One simple thing.

One thing at a time.

One puzzle piece at a time.

One simple thing.

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