The Best Presents? Presence!

From my most recent mother/daughter shoot.  I LOVE the expression on little Anyie’s face here.  How much does she love her mom?

There is nothing in the world that compares to the connection between moms and daughters.  Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day that I was able to celebrate simultaneously wearing both hats.   Truth be told, our family isn’t huge on the whole Hallmark Holiday concept, but what we do love is any excuse to spend time together as a group.  Hence, a big gathering at a local restaurant where I was flanked by my beautiful and amazing mother on one side, and my equally amazing and beautiful daughter on the other. (And of course, my wonderful husband and son were there as well!)

My mother has set an extraordinarily high bar for me to reach when it comes to parenting (of course, she being the standard of humility and I being the epitome of hyperbole, I’m sure she’d argue that in fact, she’s not all that. Rest assured, she is.)  My mother was always there for me when I was growing up.  I confess that I am challenged to come up with tons of specific examples of what we did together when we were young, but that’s because my mom’s presence was just a fact.  She just was.  She was there when I needed her. There to laugh with me. There to cry with me. There to teach me. There to listen. There to talk (when I’d let her get a word in edgewise).  She was just very THERE.

Through her example, Mom taught me how to be truly present in my life.  In turn, I learned what it meant to be truly present. For my friends, relatives and my co-workers.  For my husband. And of course, for my children.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ve had my moments.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got a wicked case of adult-onset ADD.  I know when I get overwhelmed with multi-tasking, I can space out when someone is talking to me. (I really do hate that about myself).  But – when I snap to – which usually happens pretty fast – I come back to the land of gratitude. To the awareness that I have a job and a life that permits me to BE with my children.

“They grow up so fast.” Yes, that they do. But thanks to my mother’s beautiful example, I’ve paid forward the gift of being THERE for my children.  And though I can’t stop time, being THERE truly has made me savor the time we’ve had together.  I’m blessed to say that I won’t look back on their lives and say, “Where did the time go?”   Happy Mother’s Day, Mom – the present you’ve given me is PRESENCE. And that, Mom … that is priceless.

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One thought on “The Best Presents? Presence!

  1. And I, my dearest daughter, have the supreme privilege of getting to watch you wisely and lovingly parent your children, and be an extraordinary wife to your husband. Again, I thank you for your words and what I think may be your very selective memories! A few years ago, I remember talking to you about what I would do differently as a Mom if I could do it over again….and you said you would not want me to change anything because you like the way you and Mike turned out. And, I think you were right….your Dad and I were blessed with wonderful loving parents whose example we also have brought forward…..and you and Michael are both everything a parent could ever hope for in their children.
    Your words are a treasure to me—another item for “My Favorite Things” box :>) But, just a small reality check: no matter how much time you get to spend with Zach and Lex, I’m afraid you will look back so many times and ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” It’s the price of admission for the gift of being a parent.
    I love you, Princess,
    Mom

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