My Story

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When I was pregnant I built the most delicious nest for my first born child. It was a jungle room complete with vines covering the entire ceiling. His Gramps bought him a top of the line crib and I placed it right next to the window. I imagined he would spend hours peaking out at the world from under the matching blanket covers. And then I met my son.

From the beginning he was my guide. He slept next to me because it was warmer and cozier and much much safer then a crib in the next room. I felt this when I placed him there and he looked to me with a tear stricken face. He napped snuggled up in a sling close to my body. And he nursed when he wanted, not on the schedule well meaning folks encouraged me to put him on. My heart knew then, that I would need to break some rules that I had always known, in order to be the mom he needed. He was the first, his brother confirmed and strengthened this truth.

This path, of attachment, of peacefulness has stayed mine for the simple reason that nothing else made sense. There was never a time, when imposing rules or applying discipline appeared more important than, loving and nurturing what was unfolding in front of me. Yes, there have been moments and times where a path might of looked greener then my own, but always I could find my way back. For me, having a foundation of intention and a tool box of breath deeply, listen more and talk less is how I have regained my footing, on those rougher days.

When I meet others starting or curious about throwing caution to the wind, embracing more love and less discipline, I say, trust, in your heart and what it knows to be true for your children, for you. Be patient with all the parts of you and of them, that need healing and find  that one person who can hold your hand along the way. In real life, virtually, through a phone, at least one person, who knows the pitfalls and can see you there and simply lift you up, back to where you were headed.

Now, as tweens and tees are upon us, I see these same fresh to the world faces, looking to me to be there. To be that anchor they need, as they stretch out further and confirm who they know they are and this anchor tethers us no matter the distance. It’s this, this evidence of intact relationship that is my most treasured part of the journey so far.

And as I gather my own wishes, for my children, it’s simple, that they, for all the ages and stages, may love exactly who they are.

Staying close

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Every challenge we face with our child is a chance to move closer together or farther apart.

My son had a rough evening. For his privacy I won’t be sharing the details. It was a hard thing to witness as his mother. He is far to big for me to contain him like I used to when the world got rough around him. And he’s independent enough to not necessarily want me to try and contain him.

Emerging from child to teenager is a most challenging process. To see the world through these eyes of understanding that show just have close and far away pure independence is.  To see how little control you have over the bigger elements of life, the money you have access to, the location of where you live, your ability to get to the places you long to visit.

Their understanding of how the world works is maturing at an accelerated rate, while their emotional maturity is desperate to be in the same place. It’s a torture really. I remember.

Not to mention there are all those new hormones that are showing up on unpredictable days at rates and doses 100 percent outside of their control!

When all of these things arrive with a side of sleeplessness or life emotions that on a regular day are challenging the world can feel like a most unfair and dismal place to be in.

I know this as an adult and have created a long list of coping mechanisms over the years to help myself out. While also failing miserably at moving past these days with any sense of grace or composure. So it makes sense that my child, first experiencing all of this would need some time, some space and an overflowing bucket of patience.

It is natural as his mom that I want to fix it, make it go away. Truth be told that is simply because I don’t want to feel this uncomfortable anymore so if he could just speed things along so I can return to calmer ground, I would prefer that. Reality though, it’s his process and I need to step aside and deal with my own shit on my own time.

When I take away my child’s power to express his emotions, I push myself out of his world. I send the message that there is something wrong with him. That he is in need of fixing or at the very least that he is getting in the way of my life.

When I step back and create a safe space for his process to unfold, I remain in his inner circle. The trusting place where he is free to show up exactly how he is and express the most frightening of thoughts that are inevitably going to pass through his mind.

When I listen without judgement, I embrace all the parts of his emerging self.  I believe in him all of him. I witness, without words, the unfolding of the pieces he struggles with. I send the message, with my silence and compassion, that he is surrounded with love. Especially, in the scary places. This opens the door for all of these emotions to MOVE. To find their way out. There is no shame. Only emotions, feelings of the hugest sort finding their way through to a place that eventually makes sense (or simple calms down enough to be manageable).

It’s not easy. I write this after two glasses of wine, 8 hours of sleep and recovered cuddles with a boy who thanked me for loving him “even when I make it hard.” But there truly is no other option because with each challenge, I want our relationship to strengthen not weaken. And that can only happen, if I listen more, talk less and embrace every part of this complex human being unfolding in front of me.

Flo Gascon and her journey

I loved so much what Flo had to say that I simply left it all here, interview style. I know her words will both touch and inspire you on your own journey.

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1) What lead you down the path of gentle, connected parenting?

Falling in love with my newborn led the way. Biology proved stronger than any other influence, any preconceived ideas, any parenting book. The endorphins that enveloped me as I bonded with my baby banished the possibility of any other way from my mind. I couldn’t envision ever hurting this sweet, amazing gift and wanted to prepare myself to ensure a joy-filled relationship. As I listened to her, she needed a lot of physical touch, to know that I was there for her, with her. Our physical bond grew alongside our emotional bond and the more time we spent together led to a deeper connection and encouraged me that I was on the right path. Once I saw what a good thing I had with gentleness, compassion, flexibility and partnership, a more conventional approach held no appeal. I’ve remained committed to connection as my primary parenting approach.

2) Why have you stayed committed to the process? And what strategies do you have that pull you back to the centre when life or stress creeps in?

I see my children blossoming. They are bright, enthusiastic, friendly, caring, helpful, and confident. We aren’t perfect but I can see how grounded and happy my daughters are, convincing me that this process works. I feel relaxed and content which is a significant touchstone for me. When I’m feeling doubtful or worried, then I know it’s time to analyze that a bit and discover what I’m missing. Usually I’m over-reacting or being influenced by a stress outside of parenting. Yes, life creeps in and yes, I worry sometimes if one day I’ll wonder where I went wrong or that my kids will wish I had done something differently. (That will happen anyway, I believe, because it’s what we all do.)

Two opposing strategies help me gain clarity: I slow down or I distract myself. Slowing down looks like clearing the calendar, committing to two or more days at home with nothing planned. Scheduling no more than one activity a day so I’m not juggling too much. Doing one thing at a time instead of trying to multi-task. I wash my dishes in soapy water instead of using the dishwasher so I am forced to stand still and focus. It’s easy to spin out of control, especially if I am busy or frantic or worried. Stopping and giving myself space and time to regain my footing can typically clear away my doubts and fears.

When I find myself in angst I want to figure out the problem, stat. Hyper-focusing on an issue and problem solving can be a rabbit-hole and lead to more concern. Analysis can be paralysis and this is when I know distraction is important. As a parent, I sometimes want to fix everything or make it all better but that’s not possible. By turning my attention away, I can let it go. In those moments, I finish a project or begin a new one. I grab my camera and am amazed at how much time passes while the issue slides away. I queue up movies. I cook meals with many ingredients that require time and attention. When my mind is re-calibrated, I can see that my kids are okay and I am, too.

3) What is one piece of encouragement you would offer to a parent first starting on the journey toward a more gentle, peaceful relationship with their child(ren)

Don’t get ahead of yourself. We like to believe that we can prepare for tomorrow but it’s more important to permit today to happen. Life is how you spend each moment, it’s not a destination. Each little thing piles one upon another as one day rolls into the next, the years into decades. If you want a happy, connected relationship, you’ll find it in the happy, connected things you do with and for your child right now. It isn’t something at which you arrive or twist into being through tough love. A solid future for your child isn’t developed through imagination and unwarranted concern.

This morning I was lying next to my sleeping twelve-year-old, remembering how little she once was. Then I tried to imagine what she would look like, be like in five years and I started to worry. Was I doing a good job here? What if this, what if that? I couldn’t imagine what she might look like taller, more developed, with her life more her own. So I reminded myself that I shouldn’t try to know that because it’s futile. I can’t know anymore than I could have looked at her toddler face and seen her as she is today. Time changes us all and when it brings us to five years from now, that’s where we’ll be. But for today, I have a girl by my side and all is well.

Don’t borrow worry from the future. Invest in happiness today. It compounds with interest.

5) What do you dream of for your child(ren)?

My dream for my children is that they know themselves so well that they live out their own dreams. In a world where possibilities are expanding as quickly as our technology, I want space and time for my children to explore the options that excite them the most. The path of a well-lived life is carved and worn by the deepest expressions of our spirits, our talents and our loves. I dream that my daughters eschew the expectations of others so they can fully and deeply encounter themselves as they grow and reach out into the world around them. Being oneself is the greatest satisfaction I could ever hope they have.

Flo Gascon is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. Among and in-between, she’s authored Keep Your Cool: How to Stop Yelling, Spanking & Punishing, is a family portrait photographer and creator of the Wide Sky Days family events. Alongside romping with her girls on sandy beaches and wrangling reproducing sticky notes, she takes notice, drinks tea and makes dreamy plans as if she has many lifetimes yet to live. Because there is so much life to love that once surely won’t be enough. She blogs at http://flogascon.com. Her book Keep Your Cool: How to Stop Yelling, Spanking & Punishing: What to do instead is available on Amazon

 

Kristal’s Story

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Please meet a treasured member of my tribe, Kristal! I have been blessed to call her a friend for seven years now and it has been my honor to witness her in relationship with her boys, husband and each member of her extended tribe.

Kristal met Rob early on in life. And it wasn’t long before their love multiplied in to their first child. Being young themselves most of what they knew about parenting was strands pulled from their own families of origin. This advice included what one can expect to hear from a more tradition approach to parenting.  Kristal’s eyes tear up at the memory of the ferber method, the bottle feeding and the advice to spank her child. With the birth of their second child they started to seek out advice from other sources on how to support this growing family. And with the home birth of their third child a new connection and energy was growing for this family. This welcoming was drawing the family toward a softer, gentler way of being together.

Kristal’s third born son, was a super sensitive soul who expressed himself in a sometime explosive manner, this sent her in search of a more connected, softer way of easing him and his brothers into the world around them. She wanted to be with all her boys in a non-coercive, respectful and loving way. As soon as the shift began, the domino effect hit and Kristal could see all of her relationships deepening and becoming more connected.

Early on this path,  Kristal had an experience, that helped her move toward her children and away from others ideas about who she should be with them.  Her youngest son was 4 at the time. They were having a most joyful day lakeside with friends. Of course her son was fully happy in the sand, the lake and following his own rhythm. When everyone was tired and ready to head home, they packed up. Her youngest son was not on board with this at all. The others made their way back toward the car and Kristal stayed to help her son out. His four year old self stood, in the lake and asserted “NO!” more then once. He ignored her outstretched arms. With the eyes of every other parent on the beach beating down on her, Kristal felt the panic set in. Thankfully it passed quickly and she was able to stay present with her son. To see him, who he was, what his needs were. And eventually from this place, he agreed to meet the others at the car and return home, peacefully by Kristal’s side. From this experience forward Kristal has had the courage to let the judgement of others fall off her back in order to meet the needs of her own children each and every time.

The evidence was fast and benefits immediate, Kristal never looked back once she walked down the peaceful parenting path.  The relationship with the boys grew stronger everyday.  This proved to both Kristal and Rob that there was no other way to be in relationship with their children and so from that day forth, they  have continued with gentle parenting at the heart of their relationship.

Life still gets chaotic because well that is the nature of living together with others. But Kristal has a few simply tricks in her tool box that help keep it all on track.  The first step is always taking a deep breath, a pause. From there she tries to see each conflict or situation from the perspective of everyone that is involved. This wider view helps to come up with solutions, suggestions, or just a little compassion. Finally, she reminds herself that this to shall pass, that in a minute, hour, tomorrow, a week, a month or even a year things will be better. And Kristal has this beautiful gem to offer to anyone first stepping off the path of punishment onto the path of gentle, peaceful parenting “Have patience. Trust yourself and trust your child(ren). Kids are awesome when you step back and observe what they are learning instead of getting in their way and deciding what is best for them. Be there for all the support they need. You will be pleasantly surprised by how confident, secure and amazing they become on their own.”

To sum it all up, Kristal and Rob chose this path, because they saw so quickly how it could benefit all the relationships and human beings learning and growing in their home.  I leave you with what Kristal hopes for her boys. Kristal dreams of her boys, confident in their own ability to do whatever their heart desires and that they challenge themselves to do it!.

Kristal and Rob live in Duncan, B.C alongside their three boys 17,14 and 11. Each one following their own desires. 

 

 

 

Future peeking

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When it comes to this job of parenting, I so know the importance of being present. Being present in the hey I see you and hear you way. But also being present in the oh my goodness time is passing so quickly where did my babies go way. There are however times when I see value in peeking just a little bit into the future.

Olympic hockey has taken over in our household, for three out of the four of us anyway. The games are on earlier then my son would wake on his own. He has asked to be woken up each morning the Canadian team has been playing. Since he was born I always applied the “never wake a sleeping baby” rule cause bodies know best when they are tired and ready to be awake. As he so wisely explained though ” umm mom we are hockey fans and we need to support our country.”

Now with the gold cup game on the horizon at 4:00 am, I am looking to the future. The future story about all of us waking up  or staying up until 4:00 am to watch a hockey game together. Perhaps the results of the game will make their way into the story, mostly though it will be a story of that time when.

It can be easy to get caught in the details of living together. The routines that hold it all in place. The systems that make it possible to keep the flow moving throughout the house. This though is also where I think it most important to take that sneak peek into the future. Where I can glimpse my children recounting their childhoods to their children, or friends or heck just back to us as their aging parents. And I imagine what I want to hear replayed.

No one is going to be going on about how well I washed the dishes, or how many loads of laundry I picked up off of every floor in the house. Or heck even how much they slept or ate in the passing days. They will be recounting the moments that stood out. The journeys we went on. The times they were supported and surrounded with happiness. None of that rolls out of rules and punishment. The magic making of a childhood rolls out of the ordinary moments made extraordinary by the YES that surrounds them. And from the little extra bits of comfort that show up when the heart breaking, that is inevitable, unfolds.

In these future peeking moments, I am reminded that this journey of living alongside childhoods is setting a future. A future of stories handed from person to person. That tell the tales of how they came to be the adults they are. And my role, is to be the constant yes saying, laugh making, tear catching, soft landing, arms wide open, joy seeing, behind the scenes, I got your back character.

From intention or circumstance

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Patti Digh was the first person, to open my eyes to the idea of living from a place of intention or as a reaction to the circumstances in my life. It quickly spilled over into my understanding of my journey as a mother.

Am I parenting from a place of intention or as a reaction to set of circumstances that are in front of me. Yesterday I found my son head down on his desk in front of his xbox, tears hanging on his words. I asked what was up. He started to yell and point and say things that did not compute for me. I reacted from a place of circumstance and met his angry words with just as much frustration as he was feeling. We were both wound up in fury of miscommunication, hurling useless information at one another and spiraling further and further away from any sort of solution.

In a breath, I found my way back to intention. My intention as a mother is to hold the space of peace for my children when the world around them gets wobbly and they can’t figure out which way is up. To be their constant. Their support. Their unconditional place. That looks like a lot less talking and way more listening. And patience. So much patience for the storm to move. The solution never comes in the heat of the storm. It comes in the calm that I know from experience always comes after.

For me this means having a clear foundation of what that intention is. So that when circumstance blows through the door and knocks me on my ass, I have a foundation to land on. So that even if I have a brief moment of dancing with circumstance,  intention will cut in before the chorus carries me away.

When the boys were young we sat down and created a family vision statement. They were little and it was fun and loose and mostly just a playful way to find out what each person was seeing as our way to be together. I took our words and played with them, tried out a few sentence structures and finally we decided on this “to unite in our commitment to love each other unconditionally.” This got painted in sparkly letters on piece of canvas and has hung on the wall wherever we live. As a visual reminder of our intention as a family.

There is much more to it then just that sentence. But that visual reminder helps me to find those strands of connection, respect, relationship, love and peace that are my intentions, my foundation in how I choose to be as the parent of these precious human beings who I share space and time with. Especially in the moments when circumstance is tall and ugly and begging to take control of our entire experience.

The deeper meaning that rolls out of a commitment to parent with intention is a message that says, over and over again, you my dear child are much more important than any stress ball that may tumble between us. Your sense of self means more then any moment of frustration that might push us to the edges our anger. Our relationship matters to me, more then mistakes and misunderstanding. Yes, my child, this unconditional love is yours to have in your weakest and your strongest moments and everything else in between.

How you show up matters

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We weren’t out of the rink three steps when he told me, “I was wrong about coach. He is not a good coach at all. He’s an **s.”

I was a little bit expecting this but secretly holding my breath that he had not noticed. The weekend previous we had a different coach on the bench and the boys really responded to him. We had the best game of our season. The parents were involved. There was a real sense of team. It was exhilarating. And we hoped that coach would hear about this from his son and take a page out of this young mans book to keep inspiring the team.

After this weeks practice our coach said to the team, “I asked, Joe (for the sake of this post), to coach you guys this past weekend so he could get through to you. To tell you the same thing I have been telling you all season.”

That is the moment I knew my son’s opinion of his coach was about to change. Because this man was lying to them. He asked someone to coach for the weekend cause he was out of town and no one else on the team had the proper forms signed to take over for the day. And what Joe shared with the boys was nothing like what coach was doing.

My son went onto share that at this last game, coach said to the bench, “you are impossible to coach.”

At this point I might have lost my cool.

Let’s step back and get a wider look at what is happening here. There is a locker room full, twice a week, of young boys who like to play hockey. They show up. Never once has anyone of them been rude, defiant or unwilling to take direction. Each game and practice I witness a bunch of boys giving the best they have in the moment. No one looks to coach and tells him he can not to do his job. They take what he says and work with it, in the way their 11 and 12 year old selves can.

After the game coached by Joe, I went up to him and said “thank you for showing up for these boys. You could really tell you paid attention to them and knew what they needed to hear and how to talk to them.”

His response, “Of course, these are my players and I love them.”

Joe helps out with practices on a rotating schedule as part of our program. I weld up knowing he was that committed to these boys. And it showed in how the boys played for him. He believed in them. He challenged them. He showed up.

Now I know that coach is parent volunteer and brings with him the weight of balancing a busy life. I understand that. What I don’t understand is why he agreed if he wasn’t willing to show up for these boys.

My son said to me, “I know my coach last year wasn’t very good. But at least he wanted to be there. He was enthusiastic. Coach this year, you can tell he doesn’t want to be there and is not having fun.”

It is true. He carries a burdened energy with him each time he walks in the room. I had been hoping my son would not notice. That he would make it to the end of the year without feeling, what it’s like to be a burden to someone. But he did not. He picked up on it and I heard the weight of it in his voice.

Belittling and shaming children does not work to motivate them. In fact, all it does it beat them down. This is obvious in the locker room. Where after practice you could have heard a pin drop. No one was talking to each other. They were feeling the weight of being a burden not capable of being coached. Heck, even as a parent, I was silent. Which is likely a good thing because all that could have come out of my mouth at the time was anger and I know you can’t change a mind by tossing at  it just what your begging of it to stop doing.

This is an example to me, of how we as the adults in children’s life, have infinite opportunities to lift them up or put them down. How each moment the energy we carry into a room has the chance to say, you are a burden to me, or I’m happy to see you. As well, to be examples of what it means to really show up for someone. To leave what is bothering you at the door and show up to what is going on right now between you and that person.

I don’t imagine coach wants to be saying over and over with his words and language, you suck and I don’t wanna be here. But as a product of what he has come to know in the world, he is doing that week after week, day after day. And it makes me think of all the children in the world, on ball field, ice rinks and in classrooms that are hearing this very same message much more then they are hearing, you are awesome and I am so glad to know you, just as you are. Imagine with me just for a second, a world, where this is what our future generation hears, more then anything else. I don’t mean in the empty praise sense of it all. I mean in the my heart is full of you and I really do see you here in this world, as you are, figuring it out, mistake making, tantrum throwing, hearth breaking and I still with all of me presence think you are awesome. And because of that I really want to be here for the entire journey with you.

It might feel like a big job. A big job to change the minds of all the coaches, teachers, mentors, heck adults out there in the big world. But if we begin, at home, with the people we are gifted with, the ripple will happen. Cause we will be the coaches, the mentors, the voices that make up what they hear most. It is what will give our children the courage to go out in the world, confident in their sense of self and capable of making a difference by showing up with the enthusiasm of Joe.

 

I really like my children

 

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It’s true, I think my kids are super awesome. I enjoy hanging out with them. They make me laugh. They make me think. They make me smile. And they have some super cool ideas on how we should spend our time together. Whether it’s an invitation for cuddle time or a game, I really like hanging out with my kids. I know I said that already but it’s worth repeating.

Recently, in the locker room, there were moms talking. “Oh right it’s along weekend, now I know why I agreed to work an extra day.” There was a lot of laughter. Sighs of what to do with this extra day of having this annoying human beings around them.  I was the odd ball, “My kids never go to school. We have fun together.” As has been my style in the past, I ended that conversation.

The other, walking in to play at the SAP Pavilion last night (for clarity that’s the big NHL rink where the San Jose sharks play) a parent says to me, “were you as surprised by this as we were?”

Me: “I know isn’t this awesome.” (it’s not everyday you get to play hockey on the same ice as the big leaguers.”

Him: “Ya but getting notice on a Wednesday morning about something on Friday.”

Me: “Well we were so excited at the chance that clearing the schedule was super easy.”

The conversation once again ended. Cause I wasn’t about to start complaining about the inconvenience my child’s passion and happy making events were on my life.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not purporting to be a saint of any sort. I have my moments of irritation and a close group of friends I trust to help me work through overwhelm from time to time. But when it comes to this overall attitude that children are a nuisance, troublesome and hard to be around, I’m simply not going to play that game.

I believe if parents could adjust their attitude they might find their children fun to hang out with. Carrying in to any situation this black cloud of, you again how dare you impose upon my time or emotional state, is bound to bring exactly what you ask for. Turing inward and finding that loving place in your heart (you know the one that would kick the ass of anyone who tried to hurt your child) and throwing that down in each interaction,  just might find parents asking for an extra day off in order to hang out with the amazing human being they are raising.

A personalized learning timeline.

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Learning has it’s own timeline and the most challenging part in this alternative approach to learning is trusting in that. I have a nine year old son who is learning to read. In leaps and bounds right now. Though he has been preparing for it for years. It has been hard to wait for more outward signs.  I also have an eleven year old who is only now starting to write in sentences, tweets, texts and emails. He as well has been gathering the tools for years upon years now. But I had to wait and trust because the signs I was trained to notice simply were not present.

As I lay next to my nine year old last night. He was playing through is new Pokemon game. The one he hesitated for a while to purchase cause he knew there was a lot of reading to be done. He read each word slowly, stopping, sounding, asking for help. And then he exclaimed, “Games rot your brain, no way. They make it work. And give you new information.” He moved in the course of one day from reading just bits of a sentence to completing full sentences, two, three in a row. In the course of a single day driven by his own desire he moved from what a grade school teacher would evaluate as kindergarten reader straight through to a second or third grade level. On his own. Through pure desire. He was happy. It was hard work. But of his choosing so the rewards were what fueled him forward.  Forever he will claim, I taught myself how to read. But deeper then that he strengthened his own trust in his ability to learn what he needs to learn to move through, even the tough parts, of gathering new skills to reach a goal. That sort of magic is worth waiting for.

In the room across the hall, my eleven year old son worked with his dad to design his first graphic because he is building a business. Yep. He wants to make some cash. He knows he has the tools. So he is starting. He has years, like his brother above, of building an unwavering confidence in his own ability, to figure out what he needs to in order to meet his goals. He is driven because it is his learning. It is his goal. His passion. In a day he researched marketing strategies, designed graphics, updated his youtube channel, figured out a video capture system and exclaimed this is so awesome.

Not all days are this rockstar awesome I can see evidence of learning everywhere. In fact, it could be said that exactly the opposite is true most days. But on the inside, where I can not see, this is always growing, of a strong confidence, in their own ability to learn what they need to learn to step closer to their dreams. Holding this knowing is how I learn in to trusting that indeed learning has it’s very own personalized timeline and my job is just to hold the faith and apply tons of love.

His Christmas Miracle

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My youngest son always eats his entire advent calendar on the very first day of December. He’s working on impulse control. This year he made a promise to himself that he would not do that. He would eat just one a day until the eve of Christmas. This means each morning I tuck the calendar in to place he can not reach, at his request.

Today he took out his chocolate and then looked at me and said “why is the 23rd gone?” I did not know why. I tossed some ideas about. He melted in to a pile of despair. In his eyes he had failed. My solutions were weak in the face of his upset. So I rubbed his back. I listened to his tears.

His brother asked me “what happened?” and I explained. Our day carried on until the youngest called out “Mom!” in that way that means drop everything and come here. “Did you put a chocolate in the 23rd?” I had not. He asked in the way that means if you did and are thinking of lying about it do not lie to me. I was not lying. I had not filled the missing chocolate.

He looked to his brother on the bed near by “mine 23rd is still closed” is all he said, while catching my eye at the side with a subtle explanation.

“It’s a Christmas miracle.” my youngest called out. Yes indeed it is a Christmas miracle, these little acts of a generous spirit are indeed the miracles.