Have you ever hidden Easter eggs for the kids? I did it again last weekend, and it’s still a thrill. For everyone. Last year I took a picture of the youngest during the egg hunt. It was a nice shot: one stark red egg and a kid’s eyes gazing straight past it.
‘This year you will not be able to do that to me,’ she had solemny vowed the night before.
Easter morning she rumbled down the stairs, ready for a rich and colourful chocolate harvest.
Totally focussed she reaped one egg after the other, hastily tucking them away in a bag. Nothing was going to get in the way of this combine harvester.
Until I saw her overlook a blue egg. I decided to document this properly, even if it meant spoiling the egg’s hiding.
‘Please go back and sit in front of the shelves for a sec.’
‘Why is that, daddy?’
‘To take a picture.’
‘O.K. then. But make it quick, cause I need to move on.’
As I am clicking away, the egg stays brilliantly hidden in full sight.
I am seized by a growing amazement. What is happening there?
The simple question to sit still for a picture ‘for a sec’ changes her time perspective immediately. And that pulls the egg from her view. Imagine for yourself: when you are standing somwhere to search for something, you are looking differently than when you are posing.
As long as she is hunting for eggs, she is in the here and now, But as soon as she is posing, she is anxious to move on, and her focus wanders of to the future. Precisely that look into the future prevents her to see the Easter egg that is shining into her face.
‘Finally!’ And she jumps up to continue the egg hunt.
A teachable moment on focus. I had nearly missed it.
One week later
‘Dad, another egg.’
‘No, no. My brother found it.’
Then, in a huff: ‘And you know what? He wasn’t even looking for it.’