On Thanksgiving Day my friend texted me to let me know she had a fight with her Husband, she had left home and was holed up at her Mom’s house for the day! My first thought was, “how do I sign up for that gig”?(just kidding)
I was worried about her all day thinking she was missing a great Holiday with her family! Instead, she spent the day playing Gin Rummy with her mom, going to the movies and eating sweet potato tater tots instead of stuffing. We spoke later that day and she said the day was an “eye opening experience”, she reflected that it took a marital crisis to bring her home to her Mom and that this crisis was what allowed her to slow down and spend time really enjoying her Mom’s company! As we spend our weeks crossing off the checklist of life are we really letting our children in? Do they see us as “house and carpool mangers”, don’t we want them to see us human beings too so they can take that into their own lives and not mimic our robotic checklists. We want them to be full of life and soulfulness right?
I spent my Thanksgiving out of town, we went North to the beauty of Flagstaff. As I breathed in the cool air and watched the sun coming up over the mountain, I was able to slow down and find myself. As I contemplated Black Friday I thought how nice it would be to spend it with my own Mom who I lost at age 5, I envied my friend who spent such a quality day with her Mom giggling and laughing and being silly. My 3 Boys all told me they wanted to go to Black Friday with me but did not have much hope as they would much rather “do all things Football” on their days off. As I rose at 6 am on Friday I told each son I was ready to go and they just needed to roll out of bed and hop in the car. To my surprise all were ready in less than 5 and we took off to Best Buy. My heart was soaring as I settled into the mountain air, I was in my element, full day old ponytail, “Coldplay Live” on the stereo, jeans tucked into my Uggs, and a green tea in my cup holder. YAY!
I began to settle into myself as I didn’t have any routine for the day! I turned up Coldplay and started singing at the top of my lungs, my oldest son and I reminisced about the concert we had seen together and we got “goosebumps” together remembering. I retold my Thanksgiving memories as a child, I recalled jokes about my sisters, we stopped and gave money to the homeless man, we went to an inappropriate tee shirt store, sipped hot chocolate and just got crazy. Before I knew it my boys were even willing to spend 2.5 minutes in a “girly store”. We laughed all morning and I see now that I completely “let go” and let them see Me as Me without the constraints of a family routine and high expectations. They saw their Mom as the former Oregonian, free spirit, fun loving gal she was/is and they commented on it all day. My youngest boys said over and over again “that was the most fun day in a long time” and my 15 year old said twice “Mom that was a solid day” ( which is teen speak for “I had a blast”)
Does it take a crisis or getting out of town for us to experience Grace Moments with our children, I hope not. I admit as I drove back down the hill to the valley I felt a slight tension building but I am aware and pray that I am able to share more “living” vs. “lamenting” with them. Take it from someone who has missed their Mom since age 5, I still write to my uncle occasionally and ask questions about my Mom so I can really “know her”. Share a piece of your real soul with your children today, show them who you were/are, your favorite things (music, food, friends, movies, memories) they will LOVE it, it will bring you closer and it will nourish them deeply!