“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” —Dalai Lama

Daffodil in the snowI’m sitting and I’m listening. I’m sitting and I’m listening while the inside right bridge of my nose is burning and the right side of my head is throbbing. I have finally succumbed to the cold that my boys endured a few weeks ago. Now, I understand the headache they were describing. Now, I see that they were quite brave. I am sitting in a cafe having chosen writing over yoga and the sun is streaming in on the rustic wooden table where I’ve planted myself. The ground is covered with a thin layer of glistening snow. Last night—with a full moon shining—white crystals came swirling down in Southern Maine, coating our yard again and Sister Spring remains aloof. It mirrors well the waiting in my own life—the call to linger in-between the planting of seeds and the arrival of dreams. Rushing and outcome orientation leave me wanting. It is within the process that I discover myself, my value, the value of my children. The things that I thought would matter in child rearing—the lessons, the discipline, the future successes hold less weight for me now. Instead I relish the pauses between these necessities and achievements. I linger in connecting eyes with Jonah in the rear view mirror of my car, holding on just a little longer, noticing his smile widen. I listen intently to Adrian as he interrupts the story I am telling, over and over again, allowing him to express his vision of the squirrel’s journey. I correct and I redirect and I help to make things right when things go wrong but I am holding on less and less to the seemingly poor actions inherent in early childhood and more and more to the moments to be treasured. 

We had a busy time away this past weekend. It was fun and full and we were completely diverted from our normal rhythms. I heard yelling from the bedroom where my husband was trying to finish stories with Jonah before a 10:00pm bedtime—nearly 3 hours later than usual. I could see that things were not going well. I did not blame my husband at all—he was exhausted too! We all were. I came in and was able to smooth things over by giving my son, Jonah, the benefit of the doubt. I saw him with compassion. I saw him with love. And within a few moments we were lying quietly together in the dark. I was rubbing his back and he said, “Mommy, I can feel the love pouring out of your heart into mine.” I am not always capable of making these choices but I knew in that moment that choosing to see my son as good made all the difference. We do not always hold the same standards for our children as we do for ourselves. They are expected to have perfect actions and behaviors but we—we can erupt, we can become emotional, we can hold grudges or lash out. I am trying to remember this and as I listen today, this is the message that I hear.

8 thoughts on ““The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” —Dalai Lama

  1. Miriam

    Nice! We were away this past weekend also, and although I think my kids are older than yours, things still get a little crazy when we’re sleeping away from home. My husband is a great dad, but I’m definitely the more mindful parent. I’ve found that the best way to handle explosive situations is to just calmly intervene and take over, but not criticize my husband too much either. He’s usually glad to let me handle it.

    Reply
    1. meghannathanson Post author

      Miriam … It’s so nice to hear from you …. my husband is also pretty happy when I decide to step in! It really is a dance, learning what the boundaries are in families and how to best utilize everyone’s strengths … thank you for commenting and sharing in this journey! xoxo

      Reply
  2. Heather Sylvester

    Thank you! I’m trying to temper my eruptions and respect those of my child. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Reply
    1. meghannathanson Post author

      Heather, Thank you so much for so often adding a positive comment to my writing. It makes such a difference to me. Sending you and your clan lots of love for a happy Spring!! xoxo

      Reply

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