I've come to cherish seven miles.
That's the distance of my daily commute- to daycare, to my office. It doesn't seem like much, but she had me thinking of the conversations I have with my daughter as we're driving in to start our days, or home together at the end.
In the mornings, she's usually full of excitement for her day to begin- to see her littles as she names them off one by one. She asks for her sunglasses, shrieking about the sun as we head due East. She repeats endlessly that the Beagle is still sleeping. We talk about what she wants for breakfast- hotdogs and pretzels, naturally. We count buses and motorcycles and point out the movie theatre, car wash, fire station, and the school.
In the afternoons, we make a production out of waving goodbye to anyone left at daycare. She asks for her sunglasses, shrieking about the sun as we head West. She says goodbye to the swing-set, dogs, and sidewalk chalk. I ask her how her day was, and she says good. She'll tell me if she had any accidents, if she was mean to anyone, and what her last snack was. She talks about the Beagle in his kennel, and how he needs a treat when she will play with him at home. She tells me what she wants for dinner- hotdogs and pretzels, naturally.
And within seven miles, we're home. That's all it is- girl talk on the variables of everyday life.
But it's important to me, these conversations with my daughter.
I remember reading in the Sunday paper, years ago, that the most important thing you could do for your children was to be present. For some reason, that stuck with me, even though I was childless at the time.
Being present- giving your entire attention to your child- sans cell phone, TV, radio, book, laundry ... the environment around you.
Be present. Be it seven miles or seven whatever.