Counting the Freckles

Juggling a husband, 2 teens, a 4 year old, church work and a full time job is a challenge for all of us, even on our best days! It was a beautiful September Saturday morning, the kind I would have liked to keep the whole family in their pajamas and just play together! That didn’t happen much, especially with the demands of all of their sports, church and school activities. This was 20 years ago but I remember it like yesterday….

So picture this: a 40 year old Mom sporting the cutest (of course) 4 year old son who is dressed to play some serious soccer. He gets out there, but 2 minutes later comes back to the sideline and sits—refusing to engage AT ALL. Now this is a fine choice for a 4 year old. I hate to admit it, but it was ME who made the fuss, perhaps because my own expectations were more about my “successful” juggling act, rather than my son.

The truth is, when I am stressed, I sense urgency for everything to be perfect, or I think that the world may tilt and fall out of the universe! So I immediately lifted him up, dusted him off, never looking into his face or considering his perception of the situation, just demanding MY WAY, the RIGHT way! Well…

My son just continued to refuse to budge! In my last moments of defeat I finally surrendered to my exhaustion! I just plopped down next to him on the ground and with my eyes full of tears. I looked into my precious 4 year-old’s face…and for what seemed like the first time ever, I noticed the most magnificent FRECKLES.

It was one of those moments that feel like the rest of the world is out of focus and a spotlight from heaven is directed solely on us. When did he get so many freckles on his nose? Better question, how did I miss this precious face? In my striving to be the perfect mom, wife, friend etc. what was I giving up to achieve this craziness?  

The articles presented this week about families inspired me to share this personal story that profoundly changed me that day and is still touching others when I share it with them in therapy sessions, or a parenting class.

So, as Roxanne Louh’s article begs the question, what are YOU missing by not being “present”—“all there” with your children, your family today? Ponder this question and let us know what you think. Please continue the conversation by commenting below…

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