Being present...the Best Present!


There has been a lot going on this week that has made me first, not be able to write until today, and second think a lot about what really matters the most during this approaching holiday season. The title of this week's post says it all..being present, the Best Present.

I have been thinking a lot this week about what matters the most, at least to me, and I would assume to most parents and families. What matters the most to me is the people I love. My family has had the opportunity to assess just that this week, as one of our most loved members received bad news from the doctor. I think when that kind of thing occurs, it makes us all take stock of the things in our lives that really are important. For me, that is my family. My husband, my children, my mother, my brothers, my husband's parents, and the whole of the extended family. It causes me, at least, to think about how I choose to spend my time and what brings the greatest joy.

As the holidays are rapidly approaching, take time to think about what is important. Important to you and to the specific goals you have for your children and the quality of your family. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Christmas, which is the next special holiday for my family, is fast approaching. As I think about what really matters through all the "stuff" that we do during this time of year specifically, I ask all parents to consider what is the most precious gift they can give their children. My answer to that would be the gift of yourself. The gift of "being present" being available, the gift of time uninterrupted with your children.

My partner in crime at school (aka my teaching partner) was lamenting what she had noticed frequently in the past week while she was out and about within our community. She was noticing all sorts of Moms very engaged with their cell phones and not engaged with their children. Now I know everyone has lots to do and that in this age of endless communication it can be quite tempting and maybe even addictive to have to answer every phone call and be on top of all that is going on in one's life. But I ask this, to what end are we each working towards? Do we want to send the message to our children that they are secondary to all the other"stuff' we have going on in our lives? Or, is better to take care of your children first, and the rest of the "stuff" second? I am not trying to nag or preach here. I remember what it was like trying to do all the things required to work and run a family and take care of a household. It is time consuming and exhausting! But, and here is the but...can we all be mindful and choose to take the time, especially now during this time of year, to spend time? To be present, to talk with your kids in the car, to sit down and ask how school was, to go out to lunch and just listen to your child?

So, as this season of "craziness" is about to take off as evidenced by all the ads and emails and special offers presented to us constantly, I ask each of us to consider what is the most priceless gift we can give our children. I would argue it is the gift of ourselves. The gift of being present, of being in the moment with your children. Spend time. Fill up your children's buckets with gifts of time, and experiences and of being available to them physically, emotionally and mentally. That, I would argue is the best gift of all.

So, consider giving your children the best present of all this year. Give them the gift of yourself. Be present; THAT is the Best Present of all!

Until next time! Happy Thanksgiving!