- Children are innocent
- Children are non-judgmental
- Children are resilient to change
- Children are trusting
- Children love unconditionally
Let’s explore Gratitude.
How many of you are lucky enough to have a child in your life?
For 30 years I woke up almost every day with a child physically present in my life.
My children are still in my life buy the closest lives three hours away.
Here is my life now:
After drumming and dancing for a few hours in my neighborhood park, I was walking back to my house with four various size hoola hoops slung around my neck and side. I’m happily taking each step, feeling content, but sometimes noticing the stares coming from passing cars. I suddenly flash on how much I would make sense to people if I had a string of children following me.
This was an easy task to accomplish over the years. I took it for granted that children would always follow me, always be around wondering what I was doing and eagerly wanting to come along.
I must confess that when I left the house I did not look around to see if anyone wanted to go with me. I am pretty independent and go when and where I want to go. I am also coherent enough to know there is no one in my house to ask anyway. I have not completely ‘lost it’ is what I am saying. But you would think that after 30 years it would feel a bit weird to go play in the park childless.
Most the time I do really well but at that moment, walking from a park with hoops slung on my body, moccasins on my feet, wearing my bright pink cut-up tee shirt, and people staring out their car windows looking for my lost kiddies, I felt the loss of children from my life.
My daughter brought back that shirt from her trip to Cambodia three years ago. It has a beautiful elephant on the front to remind me that she took care of an elephant for a week. She was so excited to give me the shirt but it was tiny and I was 20 pounds heavier. Determined to make the shirt work for me, I looked at tutorials on the computer and with scissors in hand, made my mark on the back, a heart. Still no bigger…so added side cuts…a little better so finished the sleeves with cute slits too.
I put this shirt on this morning cause I was missing her, now here it is, eight thirty at night, and my mind returns to her.
My mind takes me back in time about 15 years. My daughter and I are walking down our dirt road with a little girl Raina’s age, about five, and her mama who both live in our downstairs rental apartment. We are walking the mile long path that leads to a country store called ‘Love City Groceries’. Love City is the nickname of this Caribbean island called St John. Talking and walking in the hot summer sun, shaded occasionally with large Tamarind tress, we will soon reach the main dirt road. We see a donkey up ahead and think nothing of it. They are wild all over the island. The girls are ahead of us about twenty five feet. They pass the donkey but he starts to follow them. He seems to be showing strong interest in my daughter. She panics and starts to run, the donkey runs, I run, Raina’s little friends mama starts to run. Raina is screaming, I am screaming “Get”, Raina’s little friend’s mama is screaming “Get, Get out of here!” with her hands in punching mode. We are gaining on them, just like the donkey is gaining on my daughter. The donkey dips his head down and with his giant nostrils, he knocks my little girl onto the ground. I am ready to kill this donkey. I see that the other mama is ready to kill this donkey. In slow motion, this giant four legged hoofed monster takes another step toward my baby who is now helpless on the ground. Both mama’s are very close to this monster but not close enough. He walks over her…but does not touch her. No longer in slow motion, he runs away. I pick my little girl up who now has two holes in her polka dot stretch pants along with two dusty skinned knees. She is safe, we all are safe. I get her to laugh when I remind her what a story we have to tell her brothers when we get back home.
And when I get back home from my walk in the park, the only one I have to tell my story to is my computer. Thankfully, I have my computer.
So be grateful to walk with your children. When you just want a moment to finish telling your stories of the day to your friend who is walking with you and all your children combined, and you’re two minute story ends up being 15 minutes with all the “mom-look-at-this” or “mom-watch-me”s”, remember my story of how quickly it all disappears.
Remember that every moment for the rest of your life has a past, present and future to it. Be fully present to the moment at hand, don’t wish it away, no wishes are necessary, time is like a giant tidal wave and grabs everything in the present moment and quickly carries it to the past. Reminisce for a moment, dream for a moment and be grateful for this moment for it carries you to the next.
Be grateful for those children, for you brought them to this moment~~you carry them with you to the next.