The Beauty of Distraction

“Come on, focus, let’s keep moving” I want to say as we’ve stopped for the tenth time on the short walk to school. My kindergartner is so easily distracted and his focus is all over the place. To be honest, he comes by it honestly and gets it from his father (that’s me. I’m the father).

We’ve just stopped because he noticed that he almost stepped on a wild violet bloom which was growing next to the sidewalk and stretching on top of it. He stops, bends down, cradles the flower in his hand, and remarks at how beautiful it is.

I gently remind him that we are heading to school and we need to get there in time, and we make it about ten paces before he notices a purple hyacinth. “That purple flower is so beautiful!” he remarks. “Can we plant one in our flower patch?”

Another five paces and he sees green leaves but no flowers blooming as yet, and wonders aloud, “I wonder what that will be?”

My attention is all over the place too, but it’s not on the enchantments of the beauty, but about all the adult things, usually trying to go through my schedule for today to make sure that I don’t forget anything.

I recently was diagnosed with a neurodivergence. My life has suddenly made sense in a way that it hadn’t before. And it has also driven me to learn how to manage life better with it, and also how to figure out how there might be strengths instead of just drawbacks. And I have no idea if my son has the same issues, but it’s possible. Or maybe he’s just a kid. I see a lot of myself in him (poor kid). But either way, there’s something beautiful in his noticing of everything. Especially when what he notices is beauty.

And suddenly I realize: I should not be discouraging this. We do need to get to school on time, but also, he needs to be encouraged to notice the beautiful things of life. There are many, but they are oft hard to see.

How many times do I walk past all of those flowers and not pay attention to the beauty that is the created order? I’ve seen them, but I do not truly look very often. His growing socialization will work to expunge his draw to notice beauty. it’s how our society has devolved to its current state.

So I want to do everything I can to encourage this in him. So tomorrow, we will try to get out of the house just a bit earlier. And we can take a more leisurely stroll to school, to allow him enough time to notice and smell and caress all the flowers which he finds so beautiful.

2 responses to “The Beauty of Distraction”

  1. Two lovely things here… no three:
    Beauty, Truth and
    Trusting that God already is wherever life leads us!

  2. This is so very beautiful, Matthew.
    God loves diversity ❤️

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