What a wonderful, busy weekend it was!
Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Arts Fairs and Advent.
There was great joy and laughter all around. Too much, in fact, to detail here tonight. So, I'm going to stick with a few highlights...
I want to always remember how, amidst the calm and quiet of a frosty Christmas tree farm, my boys ran around pretending to shoot each other with discarded pine boughs. Last year, it would have made me crazy - this was supposed to be a time of Norman Rockwell style peace and togetherness, right? But this year, I am able to step back and laugh. Because this is my life. These are the children I have. They weren't disrupting anyone, they were both enjoying their time, and they were being who they are. Not who I want them to be, but who they are. I'm working hard at remembering that my job is to help them grow to be kind and considerate, without wishing away the energy and enthusiasm that defines them (and confounds me at times). The tree farm was good practice.
Then this morning, my oldest and I went to Mass. My attendance is erratic at best, but there's nothing like Advent to bring me back. While it isn't for everyone, I adore the ritual, the routine, the candles, and the prayers. Today was the first time in quite a while that I really felt present there - in the recent past, I've been wrangling two wigglers who would rather be anywhere else. But today, the oldest one was there, able to sit and listen, and take it all in. He was a champ, and it renewed my hope that my boys can be BOTH the crazy outlaws shooting each other amidst the Christmas trees one moment, and kneeling, head bowed, in quiet prayer the next.
Then we ended the weekend with dinner with new friends. Their kindness and hospitality amazed me. It wasn't that things were "fancy" - it's that they had taken the time to make things comfortable and beautiful for our evening. Simple nameplates for the adults and personalized place mats for the boys showed that they looked forward to our arrival. It was a wonderful reminder that those little touches do matter. We laughed and refereed and shared stories, and at the end, it was hard to leave. I hope to remember to spend those extra moments to welcome those that come into our home in the same way.
What a beautiful weekend. Filled with reminders, lessons, and loads of holiday joy.
|I love his amazing eyes...|
|This one melts me, too....|