the art of doing nothing


Suppose children were brought here on earth to teach their parents a lesson: what could you learn from your child? It’s our role as parents to teach them, right? And yet every single day I learn something new from my kids. Today’s lesson involved the art of doing nothing, which in Italian is  l’arte di non fare nient. This is a lesson in zen, truly, it’s not just doing it’s nothing – it’s accepting the silence, appreciating the stillness, allowing your mind to drift and wander without worries or care. It’s a skill.

The other night, Holland surprised me by sleeping at night – imagine that? He awoke a couple of times but for a very brief nursing and went straight back to bed. In the morning my husband was already off to work and the baby was in our bed, sound asleep. He was sleeping in the crook of my arm, right at my breast, and I couldn’t move or else I’d wake him. I had no idea what time it was and I couldn’t reach my phone. I was teetering on the brink of frustration, but instead I took a different path.

I watched my child sleep. His eyelids fluttering, his perfect little nose, his tiny hands holding me. Occasionally I’d adjust my arm and he would suddenly move towards me, mouth first at the nipple, eyes closed the whole time, like a little forest creature seeking his mama in the dark. He would calm himself almost immediately and roll onto his back moments later, his chest rising and falling with each little breath.

Occasionally a thought would flicker in my mind that it was time to get up, start the day, get Chanel ready for school, find out what time it was – but as quickly as these thoughts invaded my mind, I kicked them out. Now was not the time.

Right now I am doing nothing.

Join the Conversation