One of the best Christmas gifts I ever received…
did not even come wrapped with a pretty bow.
It wasn’t expensive or sparkly or luxuriously fashionable.
I found it tucked inside my Christmas stocking one Christmas morning. Two pieces of white paper.
Because they had both asked me, “What do you want for Christmas, Mom?” And I had thought about it.
Long and hard.
And this is what I really wanted. I wanted a window into their heart. I wanted a mere peek down deep.
I wanted to know, who are you becoming?
And what have I taught you?
Only instead of asking…I wanted to see some hint, some small sign that we’ve been teaching
the deeper stuff
and that maybe, just maybe they’ve been hearing me say words
“People are more important than things…”
“ look and see the kindness and giving around you…”
But as parents, we never actually “know” what’s penetrating our children’s minds
and shaping their souls. We just look for the little signals.
And so this is what I asked for from my boys one Christmas. I wanted to see their list of things that they felt grateful for…I wanted to see what really mattered in their worlds and
to get a glimpse of their emerging values.
And I learned a lot.
Jack really mattered. Jack was a stray, half-blind, elderly dog that Patrick had brought home one summer night, after finding him on the street. And I eventually organized my entire life around keeping Jack alive. Of course, I didn’t know that until much later. And in the end, we had all wept together when Jack died.
Only I never really knew what the boys saw, if they realized how much time I gave to Jack. Until I read over Patrick’s list.
I learned that they love their dogs. And Buddy our bird. And there were little things that blew me away.
Right next to the big stuff.
And all those years of planning and sweat and crazy decorating I did behind-the-scenes for those Halloween parties and caroling parties and birthday parties. It meant something. So did our ‘family nights’ that we’ve always prioritized. That have given us so many funny moments and precious time carved out for each other.
They noticed their Dad. And how hard he works
to send them to a good school. Christmas at Mimi and Papas. Family and friends. Things that I hoped would be seen by their eyes and felt in their hearts..were there.
Along with surprises.
And it left me feeling so very blessed.
Christmas is filled with such wonder when we slow down and take a deeper look.
It’s simply amazing what we can see.
I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, my friend!
Blessings to you,
I’m linking up here at these merry places: