Paying Attention

Paying AttentionFour-year-old Diego is playing in the pool. His mother, Darlene, is sitting in the sun beside the pool. She is reading a book. At least, she is trying to read a book.
“Hey Mom! I am swimming!”
“Yes honey, you are swimming.”
” “Mom, are you watching me”Yes, honey. Of course I am watching you!”
Diego is trying to splash water onto her book. She is trying to ignore this.
“Mom! I am holding my breath under water.”
The book is getting really exciting. The police are solving a crime. Diego’s mother is trying to concentrate.
“Mom! You are not even watching me!”
“Yes, Diego! I am watching you and I am reading a book. I am doing both things at the same time.”
“Mom, are you paying attention? I am doing a handstand.”
In the book, the police officer is chasing a suspect. Diego’s mother is hardly breathing.
Diego is being quiet for once. Too quiet. Suddenly, Diego’s mother is looking around for Diego. She cannot find him. Suddenly, time is standing still. Suddenly, she isn’t breathing at all.
“Diego! Diego! Are you hiding from me? Diego! You are not being funny!” She is trying not to panic. She is walking around the pool, looking in the water.
Out of nowhere, Diego is standing right behind her.
“Diego! What are you doing?” Suddenly she is crying and hugging him tightly.
“I am making sure you are paying attention, Mom!”
“Well, I am paying attention and now we are going home!”

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