It’s not just important to stop, look, and listen when you are crossing the street. It’s also important when you are raising a family. Events and celebrations cause us to pause for a moment and completely appreciate the gifts that surround us. Moms have a tendency to get so busy managing life that they forget to appreciate life.
Stop! “Busy, busy, busy” seems to be the mantra for motherhood. My friends see that I get a lot done in my life, and so they think that I’m the busiest woman on earth. Actually, I get a lot done so that I have the opportunity to pause and appreciate my family. Instead of doing things like watching television or surfing the Internet, I try to choose the most productive use of my time. I do the stufff I have to do so I have time to do the stuff I want to do. Get your work done and out of the way so that you have the opportunity to stop, especially when the moments arrive that are too beautiful to pass by. When your son wants to play a game of checkers, you can play. When your daughter wants you to watch a puppet show, you can watch fully and completely, without worrying about that needs to be done next.
Look! Special family moments give us an opportunity to look, deeply and clearly, at all that life wants to show us. We should take plenty of pictures and videos, but the real moments of life should be stored within. Open your eyes and take a deep look at life. Don’t just glance here and there, because it passes much too quickly. Take the time to create a memory in your heart. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent holding my babies, watching them inhale and exhale, seeing the way their tiny lashes rest against their cheeks, their little fingers balled up in fists. You have to understand the preciousness and brevity of life to really appreciate life. And the older my children get, the more I realize that these moments together are a gift. Keep your eyes and your heart open and soak them up.
Listen! Blair once took the older kids to the library so I could stay home with the baby. The silence in the house was deafening. I thought I would appreciate a little calm and quiet, but it was as if the hum of life was turned off. After a while, I was happy to see the van pull up and the kids pile out. Special family moments help us tune in to the activity of life around us. It’s important to remember that we can either hear or listen. You may hear your child ask if you can come outside and play Frisbee, but if you listen, you can understand that he wants to spend time with you and that you are the only one he wants to enjoy this gorgeous day with. You may hear your daughter complain about her friends, but if you listen, you will realize that she needs your help figuring out how to deal with people and navigate new social situations. Hearing and listening are not the same thing. Make sure you’re doing both.