Last week, I took down my Facebook page. I needed to step back. It had overtaken too much of my life, and disabling it was the only way I could successfully set it aside. (I’ve tried not logging on for a set number of days but cheated every time.) I hope to go back when I’m able to use it with more control and in a more edifying way.

Since Friday, I’ve seen just how all-consuming I’d allowed my social networks to become. Part of me was always slightly detached, watching life unfold as an audience member instead of actively participating, sneaking moments to read up on everyone else’s lives. I was distracted.

This weekend I discovered anew how refreshing it is to soak myself thoroughly in a beautiful, unseasonably-warm November morning as my children bounce on a trampoline.

To bask in their giggles and join them giggling at static electricity.

To take in how they interact, play, make each other laugh, and struggle to put others first.

As their mother, I realized how much I need to be present for them. I need to actively participate in the laughter, the bickering (not as a bicker-er but as a mediator and guide), the turn-taking, and the sheer joy of jumping.

I gave something up and received such a tremendous gift in return. The gift of being present.