My mom adventures in Fort Collins


21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 16
November 25, 2013, 8:28 am
Filed under: Writing | Tags: , , , , , ,

The prompt for Day 16 was, “What Is The Most Cherished Gift You’ve Received?”

Oh, gifts. Gifts are so interesting. If you’ve ever heard about The Five Love Languages, you’ll remember that “Receiving Gifts” is one of the Love Languages. I just took the quiz again, and I factor high on the “Acts of Service.” But that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate gifts. I am generally the kind of person that prefers something small and thoughtful, something random and meaningful. I’ll give you an example: One year for my birthday, Cory & the girls gave me a set of Twilight buttons (you know, the kind of buttons that I used to stick on my jean jacket back in 1984). I had been reading my way through the series, and I was looking forward to seeing the movie. It was silly in some ways, but it was sweet and it made me smile. Obviously, the Jacob pin is still attached to my pillow.

When I first saw this prompt (three days ago), I immediately thought about a ring that my parents gave me for my sixteenth birthday. I still have the ring, although I haven’t worn it in years. It is gold with a delicate band, and three small diamond chips embedded in a heart. What made it special was that my parents were under a great deal of financial stress at the time because my dad had been out of work for over a year. I fully expected a small and simple gift, if anything at all, but here was this grand gesture. Looking back, that gift represents something to me: Just because something is weighing heavily on your heart, doesn’t mean you have to deny any reason to celebrate. That is a valuable life lesson.

I’m grateful for the gifts I’ve received and the love and thoughtfulness that they represent.

However, when I think of the gift that I most cherish, I can think of a morning back in late August of 2007. I had been back at work for a few weeks, and I was a new mom. It goes without saying that I was in treading-water mode looking for a life boat. The gift I received was a new perspective. Many reading this know the feeling–my baby slept so long that I awoke with a start and made sure that she was still breathing. After realizing that the baby was indeed fine, I felt a calmness. This “gift” was a light-hearted mood that had washed over me as it dawned on me that maybe I can do this.  Maybe I can do this whole mom thing. Maybe I can see to the needs of another human being and also feel normal. Maybe this new way of being will be challenging for a while–maybe forever–but maybe I can do this. Getting some sleep does that to a person–it can make life seem more possible. That is the gift that I most cherish–a sense that there is enough life and love within me to be a parent.

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