Month: October 2012

“Mama, you’ve got to see this.”

We took the wonderful opportunity to camp out on our property with another family last month.  The hammocks were hung and we all climbed in to our cocoons for the night.

It was still dark when my daughter appeared next to me and climbed in to try to sleep a few more hours. A short while later, I hear a whisper: “Mama, you’ve got to see this…!”

When I opened my eyes, what I saw was perhaps the most intense and brilliant sunrise I’d ever experienced.  It truly appeared as if the woods had caught fire.  I could tell she was a tad hesitant to have awoken me, so I thanked her and distinctly let her know I was grateful to witness a view that I would have otherwise missed.

How many other moments would I miss without the reminders to share the unique perspective and sense of wonder that children bring to my life?  It hit me that as adults, parents, professionals, and contributors, we spend a lot of our time in “sunset” mode.  We reflect, project, and sometimes object.  How do I bring more “sunrise” people, moments, and attitudes in to my every day existence?

Because of that one spectacular sunrise, I challenge myself to sometimes discard the “what has happened” and open my eyes to what is possible.

Adventure Links blog photo

 

A few short months before my dad died, he gave me one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. During a conversation we shared a decade ago, he said eight words that will be with me forever.

He said, “I want to be you when I grow up.”

Just last week, in a conversation with my 10 year old daughter, I realized that I pass on this gift to her. Here’s what happened:

We noticed a problem with one of the cylindrical bird feeders outside our kitchen window. It was missing all its perches on one side, which meant the territorial goldfinches could not properly utilize the feeder.

On an afternoon shortly afterwards, my daughter emerged with a grin and said she wanted to show me something. New perches for the feeder! She let me know that she’d gone searching for the perfect perches in the forest. And that she had dragged a ladder to the feeder and replaced the missing perches herself. Sure enough, it was now covered with beautiful gold finches.

I gasped and proclaimed how proud I was of her! She looked down, a tad dejected, and said, “But it was Papa’s idea, not mine.”

I paused and, hearing my dad’s voice, said to her But it was YOU who made it happen! It is one thing to come up with an idea but another to act on it. That’s what you do and I love that about you. I’d like to be more like you.

You can imagine how she felt in that moment. Selfishly, I felt pretty happy too; remembering back to a time when I basked in my Dad’s admiration and approval!

It’s so easy overlook the “small triumphs” with our children− those moments of wonder that as adults we so easily take for granted. Let your child know how special they are, just for being who they are.

It’s a gift they’ll carry with them forever.

– Anna
Most of us became parents long before we have stopped being children. — Mignon McLaughlin

Children need guidance and sympathy far more than instruction. —Anne Sullivan