Here's a thought: What if quality time is different than what we have made it to be? Our society trends toward bigger and better. If it's more than two days old, it's past tense. Archaic. We believe that to hold attention, to be amazing and wonderful, it has to out do anything we have previously encountered. All that is new becomes old and stale within months. To solve the ennui, we update to bigger and better.
For the first birthday party, we have cupcakes and streamers, complete with a theme and beautiful decorations. By the time our children are ten we're taking them and a few dozen friends to Disney World all expenses paid. And we wonder why we have such trouble with boredom and entitlement...
ATTENTION! That was Charlotte Mason's name for mindfulness. The ability to be present fully in the now, and it mattered little where she found herself. For her it was just as important to give full attention to the little people as to the big.
Dr. Gary Chapman lists Quality Time as one of The Five Love Languages. Attention must surely be one aspect of quality time. If we care enough to give them our full attention, what is that saying to them? What are we saying when we don't? We live in the world of a million and one distractions. Heaven forbid that our loved ones should get the message that they are less than important to us. Heaven forbid that our children feel the need to do something spectacular to earn our attention or our love.
Somewhere along the line, we've forgotten the rhythm of the mundane, the simple. Attentive quality time has gone the route of the front porch swing. In our rush toward all things new and exciting, I hope we haven't lost more than we've gained.