Living in an era of consumerism AND social media, we are bombarded daily with products to buy and picture-perfect images, especially during the holidays. Today I would like to share a simple truth I’ve learned in my years of parenting three incredible humans.
Over the years, our children won’t remember the gifts we give, but they will always remember how we make them feel.
This can be a tough one for many of us. Parenting is hard work. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and don’t show up for our kids the way we would like, or in the way they need us. We are, after all, human. Gifts are easy. Being present takes more work.
What’s important, though, is that we keep trying. That we keep making the effort to be present, even when our phone is pinging, the laundry and dishes are piling up, and the “to do list” feels endless (and if that is truly happening, please give me a call. I can help you!). I am a firm believer the universe will keep giving us the same lesson over and over, until we wake up and get it. For many of us, the lesson is to slow down and be in the moment.
Christmas has always been my favorite day of the year, when I give myself permission to stop everything and be present with my family. Over the years my favorite memories have been the joys of watching my boys build Legos, decorating a gingerbread house and learning to knit with my daughter. I have vivid memories of watching my son climb trees in snowy City Park. And every year we take a walk on Christmas night to see the beautiful lights in the neighborhood. I don’t remember the gifts, but I do remember the feeling of being with my family.
I don’t always get it right, but I do keep trying. And there is no greater present than to be present.