Sunday, I took the boys to the beach- we were only planning on spending a few minutes to gather a few shells and walk along the beach-We had spend a few hours there on Sat and wanted to just head back for a quick visit before heading home- This isn’t what happened, instead something much better happened.
We ended up spending an hour bouncing along and we did gather shells, but the boys were soaked and covered in sand. I couldn’t even be mad because watching them play on the beach was a moment of complete and absolute joy!
Hearing the laughter escape from them is one of the best sounds anyway, but this laugh was different it was one of pure joy. They were running from the waves with smiles that covered them from ear to ear! I watched as the foot prints pressed into the sand in the most perfect and profound way, the wind flowing through each one of there hair- It was as if in this moment the entire world stood still and watching them was the breath filling my lungs, and hearing them was forcing my heart to beat- my reason for life.
All I could do was giggle like a little school girl and stare at them in the hopes that these moments would forever be stored in my memory bank! I snapped a couple of pictures and videos, and allowed these moments on the beach to just engulf me. Being able to smell the salty air and hear the courageously strong waves crashing was the perfect back drop to watching the master piece of my boys running and playing in sweet harmony. “Absolute Joy!”
As those moments were unfolding it hit me- you know that feeling when you are sleeping and you are falling, but you wake up before hitting the ground and you feel yourself jolt. This was the type of feeling I had standing there as these thoughts came racing toward me jolting me- as if forcing me to stop and listen.
Being a parent is hard hard work! We often times over think every situation because we want things to be perfect or we don’t feel like we are enough. Here it is:
Children really just want our time- They want you to spend time with them, they want you to listen to them, and more than that they want you to hear them. I think sometimes as parents we allow our pasts to dictate how we parent. A lot of times we parent with expectations hard expectations, I know I am guilty of this! There are also times that we parent because of how we were parented, the other side of that is we parent a certain way because we don’t want to parent how we were parented.
Everyone has an opinion right, and people are very quick to share it with you. What do you do with all these opinions, expectations, and questions?
I think you have to communicate with God, communicate with your spouse, and come up with what you think will work in your house and feel good about it! Once you do this be open to change because our children are different and need different things. Don’t feel like a failure when the day doesn’t go as planned, don’t feel like a failure if breast feeding doesn’t work out, don’t feel like a failure if your child isn’t sleeping through the night, don’t feel like a failure if your little boy loves the color purple! Do not feel like a failure if you decide to home school, do not feel like a failure because you choose to live a life that works in your house!
One thing that I have learned is that it’s about moments! Moments of complete chaos pared with moments of absolute joy! The key to parenting is being open to those moments of complete chaos because sometimes it’s in those moments that you get to experience “Absolute Joy” if you allow yourself to feel it! You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to bring a smile to your child’s face. It has been our experience that our most expensive trips have been the worst- our most expensive gifts haven’t been the most enjoyed. It has been the simplest moments that have had the biggest impacts- for instance this weekend we spent time at the beach and we also went to a children’s museum. Let’s just say we left the museum with in 45 minutes because it just wasn’t what we anticipated (all that money wasted). Went to the beach on Sat and spent hours and the parking was cheaper than one admission to the museum. I guess I’m just saying don’t allow the pressure of “being a good parent” to stress you out to the point that you forget to just be a parent.
Most people can’t remember the gifts from ones childhood instead they remember experiences. Make memories with your children- sweet sweet memories! Allow moments of “Absolute Joy” to engulf you!