(You can listen to Rev Crystal read this blog post and multitask to your heart’s content!)
What’s the single most wonderful thing about having children? Narrowing it down to one characteristic might be pretty difficult, but let’s give it a go anyway. I’ve never had children so I’m asking you what you think.
My first guess is they are little love teachers.
Bring Out the Softness
Alicia explained how her young daughter is a comfort to her as she adjusts to the passing on of her grandmother she was so close to. Her son will tell her out of the blue, “Mama, you are so beautiful” in his cute little four-year old voice. These are the kinds of endearing moments that lodge in our hearts. Children can bring out the softness we’ve learned to hide because of our learned responses to people and circumstances. Our kids can remind us to open up and it has nothing to do with money or status, drive or goals.
They’re simple. Unassuming. Innocent.
Loving the Little Things
Jamie, one of my first northern Michigan brides is now a wonderful mom. When I asked her what she loved about her children, she said, “I love the little things. The look of awe every time they see an airplane. The ‘leg hugs’ [that come] out of nowhere while I’m folding laundry. The belly laughs when something so simple (to us) is just too funny. It’s all of the little memories and the way they look at you when they’re proud of themselves and look to make sure you saw them.”
As a parent you have the privilege and presence to enjoy these little teachers running around your house. They remind you what it’s like to be in the moment and how important that state of mind is.
The closest I’ve come to the kind of love you must feel for your children is with my surrogate children, my two dogs and Millie my copper-eyed black cat.
Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re dogs which I expressly realize whenever they get their noses right on “smelly yucky substances” shall we say? But they’ve taught me over and over about being in the moment, and getting over myself.
I remember when I was still the minister at Unity of Traverse City. One of the board members thought she’d be a better minister than I was and was actively trying to take over. Whenever she visited the church, my soul dog, Clarissa, would still go running up to her, wag her tail, and be super excited to see her. She didn’t know or care that we were having serious disagreements. Dang pooch. She was supposed to be on MY side!
Actually she was on my side, the side being in the moment. Some call this forgiveness. Whatever you or I want to call it, I forget about the beauty of being present, simple, innocent when I’m into being right.
What Can We Ask Ourself to Snap Back Into the Moment?
Or is it as simple as shaking ourself with a slap to our sweet face?
Is there any question we can ask our self that would help bring us back to a state of innocence when we forget how much being open can improve our life? In the throws of being right, OMG, I can feel like a Mack truck barreling down a Kentucky mountainside and it’s hard to stop the momentum.
What comes to me is, do I want to be remembered for this moment? Speaking in this tone of voice? With this distraction on my mind saying THESE words? Is this look in my eyes conducive to joy? Is there something in my gut that’s urging me to see differently?
You have your children to remind you. But do you have something else you use to remind you? If so, will you share it with me? I’d love to hear what works for you.
Opening Up Outweighs the Challenges
For those of you who are parents congrats that you have such wonderful teachers by your side day after day. I’m sure they have their moments of really trying your patience, and you may regret some days that you don’t have the freedom you used to have. However, I’m betting the opening up you do outweighs the challenges.
Ah yes, our little love teachers. Our furry-four legged teachers of presence.
We are learning.
I’ll talk about growing and learning together the next time you hear from me. Please feel free to contact me at any time. Email, text, comment.
Love to you!!
Image courtesy of imagerymagestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you didn’t watch the TED talk I sent you last time, here’s the talk again. 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation by Celeste Headlee