Happy New Year!  I hope this message finds you well and rested from the holidays.  And I’d love to hear from you – what are your wishes and hopes for the year ahead?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my intentions for the year ahead.  Some are seemingly trivial domestic goals, like organizing my kitchen cabinets.  :p  Some are deeper, more complex yearnings.  How can I nurture my children’s sense of active involvement in the world, without compromising their sense of safety?

But more than anything, one goal eclipses all others this year.  As is so often the case, this one comes from listening to my children.

Because while I am ruminating, forming goals and the like, my children have one question for me.

“MAMA!  Be with us!!!  PLAY with us!!!”

They have a point.  More times than I’d like, I find myself thinking, when was the last time I really sat down with them and was 100% present, 100% there.

The thing is, it’s not easy!  When I’m not as with them as I’d like to be, it’s not like I’m just sitting around doing nothing.  Most of the time, while I am ruminating, I am also doing the dishes.  Or the laundry.  Or endless other chores that need doing.

Meanwhile, there are my children, playing with legos, or wooden trains.  Dressed up as koalas.  Or hedgehogs.  Making forest feasts.  Galavanting through imaginary worlds.

They’re so wholehearted, in everything they do.

So endlessly present.

 

This is, to me, one of the most beautiful things about childhood.  The way our children stay present.  And the way they so persistently invite us to join them in that space.

So, lately, I’ve been trying to develop more self awareness around this.  I want to notice when I am really present with them, and when I am preoccupied.  Thinking, dreaming, or yes, doing the dishes.

So my resolution for this year is this:

I want to make sure that I really am spending quality time with each of my children, every day.  Special time.  The kind of time where you’re not just getting things done, but are actually, lovingly engaged with one another, doing something you both enjoy. 

Maybe as simple as cuddling on the couch, while your six year old croons hedgehog noises, and you remember that even though he’s a big boy now, he’ll always be your baby.

My wish for this year is to remember, every day, the sacredness of the time we spend together.  

And maybe that’s it – the crux of the matter in nurturing our children’s sense of safety in an uncertain world.

Maybe that’s where we find safety, after all.  Simply in this present moment.  in our moments together.

The way we listen to them.

The way we play.

And also those moments when they join us at the sink, sailing lego boats in the rinse water while we do the dishes.