My brother was minding the tiny human today, as I was spending some birthday time with my goddaughter. We met them after in the playground. My brother was entertaining the tiny human and another beautiful little girl. It turns out she was an identical twin.
All the kids played together for a while, we went swinging, sliding, even flying an aeroplane to “Italy” 😏 The entire time we played, they kept glancing up the hill. At their Dad. I watched him in frustration. He sat the entire time, at a picnic bench, by himself, completely emersed in his phone. He hardly looked up. The girls played, and every so often glanced to the top of the hill, he wasn’t looking. Every time I looked up at him, he wasn’t looking. They had so much fun with my brother, the man who gave them attention, not the one who should have been.
Now I have no idea what the situation is, and after everything, I try so hard not to “judge” anyone for anything, because we really have no idea what is going on… But I felt so sad watching this today. I wonder how long it would have taken him to realise if they had been taken by someone. I wonder what went through their minds as they looked up towards him on the hill. Most likely longing for their Dad to watch them for a minute, to play with them for a little while. They laughed and giggled with my brother, a man they didn’t know.
I know myself how addictive a phone can be. I find myself having to make a conscious decision to put mine down now, and get annoyed with myself when I realise I have ignored a question, a demand, a cuddle, all because I’ve had to answer that text straight away, that tweet, or see how many likes an Instagram post has received. Or even worse when I get cross with her because she’s called me 6 times, then realise it’s because I’m looking at my phone and not her.
I know how precious the time I have with her is, how fast she’s growing up, the things I can miss in the blink of an eye because I wasn’t paying her any attention. I see her disappointment when she does something she’s proud of, and I missed it. I realise that in the blink of an eye, she could be gone. I see that now. I just hope that the Dad on the hill realises the next time and instead of sitting alone with his phone, he jumps on the plane, and flies to “Italy” with his two beautiful little girls.