I have always had a policy with my kids that they could tell me anything and without fear of repercussions. A safe place to share thoughts, ideas, things they had done, had not done, or had done horribly wrong. I have never had my kids tell me anything that truly ever upset me, and the conversations that have sprung from them sharing with me have been invaluable to me as a parent. They teach me volumes on so many levels, I have enjoyed tremendously watching them gain critical thinking skills, and in watching them as they are learning to think through whatever the issue, question, or concern is.
I grew up in a house in which I could share nothing with my parents, and I wanted it to be different for my children – they do not share with their dad the things they share with me – so I hope I have achieved my goal.
However, a couple of weekends ago my son shared with me something that disturbed me greatly. It took all my skills to bite my tongue and not “be the parent” and come down on him for what he shared with me. He shared with me that he was using chewing tobacco at school, evidently, his roommate has this lovely habit, and my son was participating in this vile habit – and has been for some time. My instinct was to immediately tell him how vile I thought it was, how foolish I felt he was in making this choice, and then to share with him all the horrors of mouth/throat cancer! Yes, my reaction was the antithesis of what the purpose of the “open door policy” was all about.
There was some conversation and somehow I managed to strangle the “Crazy Woman” that was simmering beneath the surface and simply shared with him that I was disappointed in his choice, and I asked him if Bria knew what he was doing. That stopped him in his tracks – he had not told her. This spurred further conversation on why he had not told her and what that meant. It was truly an eye opening experience for me – I have no clue why I asked about Bria, but I am thankful that I did not quell the question. Our conversation ended with me telling him how much I loved him.
Therefore, scroll forward to this weekend – Sam was home again and on Friday night after he had come home from taking the Darling Bria out to a movie. I have a rule that the kids have to wake me up when they get home – and so Sam woke me and the conversation that unfolded was truly amazing. I was paid tenfold for biting my tongue and just listening to the earlier conversation. We lay in bed together and what he shared with me brought great joy to this mother’s heart! Evidently, Darling Bria has strong feelings about tobacco use! Can I tell you how much I love this girl? Well, after this weekend, I love her even more! I am so happy that I did not open my mouth with my “parental advice” because the voice of young love is was just what Sam needed to hear! As he shared with me he was not using “chew” any longer because Bria would not kiss him if he did! A lovely conversation ensued and Sam shared with me that he is trying to help his roommate quit “chew.”
Some days it really pays to keep your mouth shut when the door is open…
Having a house full of teenagers can be a challenge to any parent, but it is the Christmas Season that I find myself missing the long gone days of childlike wonder and excitement that bubbled along as the days waned and Christmas morning drew closer. Their simple excitement that surrounded everything from opening a window on their Advent Calendar to baking cookies was a palpable feeling in the house. The excitement in trimming the tree and writing their letter’s to Santa brought excitement to the parental units as well, and I found myself viewing things in a new light as I shared in the wonder that my children created.
It is not so any longer, teenagers are the most cynical of creatures and the wonder, excitement, and anticipation that is Advent is missing…
I found it missing from myself as well and rather than be saddened by that loss I have rekindled that slowly dying ember, Gentle Reader. I gently fanned the flames and I have found myself reveling in that childlike wonder again. I thought that if this problem had happened to me, it must happen to others – so this blog post is my attempt to help you regain that wonder and excitement. As the days wind down and Christmas looms ever closer, it is my fondest hope and desire that you should not be overwhelmed by what you need to do, rather that you can find a moment to take a deep breath and focus on the beauty of the season.
Steve Earle wrote a beautiful song that sums up the season for me and I will share those words with you today – the song is titled “Nothing but a Child” … I hope you enjoy the words.
Once upon a time in a far off land Wise men saw a sign and set out aross the sand Songs of praise to sing, they travelled day and night Precious gifts to bring, guided by the light They chased a brand new star, ever towards the west Across the mountains far, but when it came to rest They scarce believed their eyes, they’d come so many miles And the miracle they prized was nothing but a child
Nothing but a child could wash these tears away Or guide a weary world into the light of day And nothing but a child could help erase these miles So once again we all can be children for awhile
Now all around the world, in every Iittle town Everyday is heard a precious little sound And every mother kind and every father proud Looks down in awe to find another chance allowed
My hope is that you can join me in being a child in the remaining days before Christmas. To help you get started I will share with you one of my favorite renditions of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah…
Here you go, just in time for the holidays! And, I pilfered this from CJ’s blog! Thanks CJ!
Favorite Christmas … Non-religious song? White Christmas – and my favorite version is from the movie “Holiday Inn” when he sings it the last time in the studio…
Religious song? Silent Night, preferably sung at Midnight Worship Service by candle light. So I share with you Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht on guitar just as Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber’s first rendition was played…
Santa-related song? Santa Baby
Fictional character? The Grinch, what is not to love – especially Boris Karlof’s voice!
Dinner main course? Roast Beast – errrr, Prime Rib, complete with Yorkshire Pudding and Horseradish sauce. Dinner dessert? Bouche de Noel
Scent? Butter cookies baking in the oven…
Animated Christmas program? I have two, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Non-animated program? Okay, “It’s a Wonderful Life” “Holiday Inn” “White Christmas” – all great flix!
Personal memory? Watching my children’s faces on the first year they “got it” on Christmas morning.
Story? Each of the Gospels give such an amazing account of truly what Christmas means…
This or That… Candy cane or peppermint patties? Peppermint patties.
Sugar cookies or gingerbread? Sugar Cookies
Tinsel or beaded strands? None of the above.
Multi-colored or single color lights? I love white lights, but my kids like multi-colored ones.
Flashing or still lights? Still, flashing lights make me dizzy.
Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Wreaths, and yes Mistletoe too.
Rudolph or Frosty? Rudolph, of course.
Sledding or snowball fights? Sledding!!
Snow or ice/icicles? Snow
Hat or earmuffs? A hand knit hat, of course!
Getting or giving? Giving!
Snow days or plow trucks? Of course, snow days!!
Stockings or presents? Both – can you have one without the other?
Cookies and milk or letter to Santa? Okay, again – can you have one without the other?You have to also leave carrots for the reindeer!!
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Can you have one without the other, I love both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
Log Burning Channel or Real Thing? Why the real thing, of course.
Cards or e-mails? Hand made cards!
Shoveling or scraping ice off the car? Isn’t this why God invented garages and snow plows?
The Inn’s Manger or the animals? Okay, I would be honored to be have been with the animals on Christmas Eve.
Hot cocoa or eggnog? Egg Nog – home made, with brandy of course!
Jack Frost or Little Drummer Boy? The Little Drummer Boy!
Yay or Ugh…
Holiday shopping? Yes, out with the masses – just like the song Silver Bells talks about..
Icy roads? Just gives one a good reason to stay indoors with the someone you love!
Limited driving visibility? Again, an excellent reason to stay indoors and snuggle!
Christmas Carolers? Yes, and I have been one, I love to go caroling!
Mall Santas? Ummm, really not so much!
Salvation Army Santas?Again, not so much – but I hope you drop money in the kettles!I have been a bell ringer for them as well!
Blizzards? Only if you have nowhere to go, some wine, a roaring fire and someone to cuddle up with!
24/7 Holiday Radio? I love this, even though I do not listen outside of work, NPR – you know!
Freezing cold? Yes, it is hand knitted woolen garment weather!
Setting up the tree? Yes, I love this part of Christmas!!
Wrapping presents? Yes, I love wrapping presents!
Visiting/seeing family? I love spending time with loved one’s for the Holidays!
Twenty-six years ago, I released a child for adoption. I trusted faithfully that my choice was the right one, and my faith was not in vain.
As you are all aware, this daughter found me last summer and we have stepped forward together on a new path ever since.
This daughter sent me a lovely email for Thanksgiving and I would like to share this excerpt with you all:
“It’s the night before Thanksgiving and I was really wondering what you were going to be doing and hoped that you and your kids will be having a great holiday. I wanted to let you know what I am thankful for since I won’t be with you to tell you. I am thankful for God and the beautiful family that he gave me, for my health, and the health of those I love. Also for helping me find you it has been a long time coming and I am very thankful for that.”
I can tell you simply and truly, Gentle Reader, I am humbled by her beautiful words and can only tell you that I am so undeserving of them. The blessings that this child has poured upon me are sweet and most incredible.
On top of that, Frick and I have struggled in our relationship for some time now, and yesterday I spent time with her and it felt like old times between us – so much so when I called her by her nickname, her face lit up and she crawled in my lap. There was no way to stop the tears from leaking from my eyes as I sat holding her.
When you least expect it, your children do things that you never hoped for nor imagined would ever happen.
It is the unexpected blessings that I am most thankful for…
Also, I need to give a shout out to our two contest winners!! Congratulations to Biddy and Beverly!!
The patients that come to my unit are healthy and have elected surgery to replace their worn out knees and hips, or back surgeries that make patients in pain again realize life that is pain free or relatively so. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to a hospital is going to get better and go home to his or her family and friends.
Yesterday, in the small details of the day as I was frustrated with myself for the feelings of “not knowing all instantly” a beautiful thing occurred.
Clear and sweetly, suddenly a chorus of voices broke out in song – the mixture of voices was hauntingly beautiful as they sang the hymn.
One by one, I watched my co-workers grow silent as we all listened to the beauty of the song, flowing with love from this family as they raised their voices in a not so perfect harmony.
It the midst of the frenetic pace of the day – this family reminded me of what is most important.
In life, it is the little things done well that are most worth doing.
Do not forget the contest, go visit my other blogging friends and leave them some comment love.
I challenge you today to go out and do the little things well, Gentle Reader – they are well worth doing!