By Emily Kulkus
Our kids are always watching.
That sounds 100 percent accurate but I think it’s easy to forget. My daughter is 4 and a half years old. She’s smart, super chatty and keenly observant. But she’s also 4, which means she is “Alice down the rabbit hole” when she plays – fully and totally immersed in her books, music and coloring. I’m also reminded of her age when I have to tell her 14 times to put her shoes on and dinnertime is a broken record of “eat your food, please.”
My sweet girl stopped me dead in my tracks one day last week though when we were talking about things that make us happy. In her words, she said that “talking was her life,” which is both hilarious and accurate. Then she started talking about what other people in our family like to do. That’s when she said that “being on my phone was MY life.”
Oh. My. Goodness.
Mother of the year, right here! My precious, wonderful, precocious 4-year-old just told me that I live to be on my phone. What the heck is wrong with me? In that moment, I felt like absolutely everything. I admit it, I – like you -- love my phone. It keeps me connected to my work, family and friends; it keeps me connected and helps me relax. I’m constantly checking my email and Facebook accounts, all of which I use both personally and professionally. I also use it to take photos, play games, shop, check the weather, read the news and to look stuff up: recipes, movie times and you know, critical information like how tall Snoop Dogg is. (He’s 6-foot-4, by the way.) But my phone is NOT my life. And if my kid thinks that’s true, something’s gotta go.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to leave my phone in another room during meals and during play times. I’m trying really hard to just walk away from the darn thing. And I hope my daughter notices.
Her statement was a really good reminder to me that she’s always watching. When she sees me lacing up my running sneakers, or touches my sweaty arm after a workout she’s been asking more questions: “Where are you going?” “Who will be there?” and most importantly “Why are you doing that?”
I’m lucky enough to be able to answer: “Out for a run.” “My friends,” and “Because it’s really good for me.” Usually she nods her head, wrinkles her nose and runs off to her toys. Hopefully soon, though, my observant little person will soon as another question that makes life worthwhile: “Can I come with you?”
And the answer will always be: yes.
Emily Kulkus is the marketing coordinator for Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse. Reach her at email@example.com.