October 28, 2011 Alaska

“Thanks Mommy – I love it!” Our eldest said in her most excited, surprised, happy, appreciative tone of voice as she unexpectedly discovered some simple craft items sitting inside the art drawer.  I love to hear “Mommy” expressed in this most precious way.  What parent doesn’t?

It is a great gift to be called to in a sweet, loving manner.  As our daughter has gotten older (she’s now ten) the number of times I hear this sweet loving “Mommy” have sadly decreased. It seems that as the responsibilities of her young life grow – school routine, homework, other activities, friends, and chores at home, that there is less space to be in that loveable, quiet space. Honestly, I realize, too, that my productivity-driven personality allows little free time in our family’s schedule.

It has been said that we give our children what we did not have.  After being a parent for the last ten years, I claim this to be a true statement.  It’s uncanny to see the influence the script of our first 15 years alive has on the rest of our life – and often unconsciously so.  Case and point – during my childhood, all I had was time to create and craft – and in fact, I had nothing else to do – until I began regularly working at the age of 13.  My informative years were largely spent fending for and comforting myself with crafting in front of the T.V.  Now, I see how the pendulum has swung the other way in my parenting approach.

The present is truly the greatest gift we have.  The freedom to surrender to the present in the way of our heart, is the essence of true joy.  Christmas time seems to be one of the few times that I truly suspend the external responsibilities enough to allow ourselves to just be present to charming surprises and crafty play that we all yearn for most.  Wow, I guess we need more PJ mornings without agendas!

Thank you, dear daughter, for showing me how to experience true joy in this present.  Indeed, this is how I yearn to live each moment, each day. I vow to claim more PJ mornings and more space to simply be available to this gift of the present with you.

I write this now, I savor the happy sounds of all three of our children crafting and playing by the fireplace.  I sit at my favorite writing spot, looking out to the sky that is unwrapping the reward of this new day. The shades of colors are shifting from pinks to blues and there’s a hint of purple mixed in, too. The snow-covered mountains are becoming more clearly defined as a clear and brisk 23 degree (F) day opens up to say “Good morning Alaska!”  What a tremendous gift this present is to all of us.

“Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, That’s why it’s called the Present.”