I am a home body at heart. On cold Colorado winter nights I love being wrapped up in a blanket by the fire sipping hot chocolate with Christmas music playing in the back ground. For this rather introverted woman, staying away from the crowds and cold is a little slice of heaven in indeed! So as you can imagine when my very adventurous 17-year-old daughter wanted to sneak out in the freezing cold, ice and snow our 16 degree weather was pouring out all around us, I was less than excited. The thought of standing in line waiting for the doors to be opened as we shivered and quivered was the last thing I wanted to do. And yet, as I looked into her eager eyes as she waited for a response from me, I realized something. She could have asked her friends to go with her. After all, they’re all driving now and easily could have piled into one of their cars, and together, shopped until they dropped. She could have asked her Dad to go with her. They love going on adventures and paling around together. If it was just about shopping, she could have gone online and found some pretty amazing deals. I knew, even though I hate being cold and I HATE Black Friday crowds, this was an opportunity to treasure with my girl. And, so all bundled up, we headed out into the icy cold and together stood freezing in line with about 1000 other people waiting for the store doors to open.
For 30 minutes we laughed, shivered, and talked smiling all the time. When the doors finally opened, we collectively, breathed a sigh of relief as the warm hit our faces and cold began to fade away. We found a few amazing deals along the way. But most of all, we simply had fun being together – treasuring a couple of hours of Mom/daughter time that can be so hard to find these days.
Late last night, when everyone was quiet and in bed I couldn’t help but think about my time with my Faith. The years have flown by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding her in my arms rocking her to bed each night; now, college is just a blink of an eye away. Tears streamed down my face. Joy mixed with sorrow like I’ve never known before. Though my role as mom will never go away, I am more and more aware of how that it is constantly transforming and changing.
Where I was once the one she ran to for every hurt and pain, she now has developed a strong group of supportive friends who she shares the ups and downs of life with. Where she once depended on me, she instead now leans on me. These changes are good. So very good. They are signs she is becoming more independent and confident. Yet, my Mama’s heart aches with every step she takes away. My Mama’s heart both bursts with pride and aches with sorrow as I know she is doing exactly what she must do — slowly, tenderly and with integrity pull away so she can strengthen her wings and soar.
Treasure Every Moment!
For those of you who have tender two-year olds, precocious 6 year olds or maybe challenging 12 year olds, I have just a couple of words of advise. Treasure every moment: from every poopy diaper to every skinned knee. Treasure every moment: from the days that they’re just a frazzled mess to the days when they do everything perfectly. Treasure every moment: even the days they’ve messed up royally and you’re having to bail them out…again. TREASURE EVERY MOMENT: They are gifts from God to be loved, valued, appreciated and held in the highest of esteem. They are the most precious of gifts to be cherished and adored faithfully.
I’m so glad I stepped out of my box last night and ventured out in the cold with my sweet Faith. As we were shivering and quivering in the cold we snapped a picture I will forever cherish. We were able to smiled in that freezing cold because we were together and our hearts were full. We knew were building a wonderful memory, and in the process our hearts were being knit even closer together. It was beautiful. It was wonderful. It was worth every shiver and every chatter of our teeth.
Stepping outside our own comfort zones can be hard at times, but it is often there that we find the most joy with our kids. Treasuring them where their hearts soar helps us too see them at their best and connects us with them in powerful ways.
How can you connect differently with your child today? What adventure can you share with them? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear from you!