Every second with your child is a gift that every parent treasures. While taking my child, along with his best bud, to the local ice cream shop, I was scooped some common sense in a 60-second slurping conversation.
Jay* is sitting across the table from me and literally sluuuurping his ice cream from its cone. With each slurp, I hear the ice cream being sucked up like water. It drives me crazy hearing that sound. It reminds me of the way he eats his pizza during dinners. He eats at our house several times a week, so you can bet I know what I am talking about...
In that annoying motherly tone that only moms can make, "You shouldn't slurp your ice cream like that, or your future high school date won't like it."
He pauses to look at me as if I have stolen his moment of pure enjoyment. His eyes are as round as glass marbles, with the never-ending, echoing, blank stare of confusion and alarm. Shaking his head in denial, " I don't like girls. I won't ever date a girl." Then he continues his slurping of the ice cream as if my comment doesn't exist.
As I continue staring, I notice that my own kid has his root beer float all over his face. Suddenly, he wipes it on the sleeve of his T-shirt and continues to slurp it down.
"You know, you shouldn't slurp down your root beer float that way or your future college date won't like it!" (Changing the word "high school" to "college" for my own child may encourage him to hold off dating until then?)
Quickly without missing a slurp, he replies, "I'm not going to date. I am going to skip dating, and just get married!"
I stop eating my sundae and start laughing out loud. "How can you skip dating?"
"Easy. You just get married and have kids!"
The conversation made me think if I skipped some steps in life, would it simplify it? What if I got up in the morning, and just skipped Starbuck's on Webster? Or just skipped the abdominal crunches in Nicole's Zumba class on Park Street? What would I do in that Moment? That Moment I chose to skip each day?
If I'm going to skip it, I'm going to make it a good skip, not just a plain ol' skip! Skip the Internet today! Skip the television. Skip the commercial. Skip Facebook or Twitter. Skip the video games, because I guarantee that what is missed on the Internet, TV or games will never measure up to that extra moment with my child.
I will never regret spending more time with him. I will never regret giving him that extra kiss. That extra hug. Our spontaneous trip to the ice cream store listening to his future plans about dating and instant marriage.
Our kids are only young once. They are present in the Moment. Their truth and magic are in their thoughts, behaviors and actions. Have I been skipping some?
So today, we skipped the TV, the laptop and games. We skipped Facebook, Google+ and Roblox. We sat together quietly, looking up at the ceiling, talking about us and what we wanted to do together after our snuggle time...
And going back to that conversation, his friend Jay replied, "I'm not having kids! Ever! And I'm not getting married!"
So apparently, there are some SKIPS we need to have conversations about over ice cream — how we have other choices, like whether to have peppermint or mocha ... or the fact that I am eating ice cream at all.
And as far as dating goes, we're going to skip that topic until college.