Family life is often hectic. Parents race from home to school and off to soccer games, ballet lessons, birthday parties, gymnastics, and the library. Parent burnout is increasingly common, exhaustion the norm.
In half of our families, divorce, remarriage, and the creation of blended families add to the stress placed on modern family life. All too soon, the kids will shift their focus from family to friends. Countless tasks fragment any remaining sense of well-being and sap away at the stamina that we need to meet the challenges of our modern lives.
One of the most precious gifts that we can give our children is an education of the heart, nurturing their sense of joy and appreciation of life, a sense of the poetic, and of their connection to all of humanity and the universe.
Family traditions and celebration create comforting patterns to the childhood years. They help to underscore to our children the message that they are loved and cherished. Even if we don’t formally belong to any organized religion, they can help us teach our children the great moral and spiritual lessons of love, kindness, joy, and confidence in the fundamental goodness of life, in simple ways that encourage them to begin the journey toward being fully alive and fully human.
Opening yourself to wonder and delight is the first step toward a celebration of life. Without a sense of wonder, all things are commonplace. But, when we open ourselves to a sense of wonder, our souls begin to stir.
More than likely, our children will lead us to rediscover our sense of curiosity and wonder. There is beauty all around us. It’s so easy to find in the patterns of the waves lapping the sand, the curve of a gull’s wing, in the angry force of a rain storm, or in the changing moods and colors of a mountain lake. Our children help us get back in touch with the beauty of all creation as we gather shells, yell into the wind, fly a kite, or leave a trail of footprints in the sand. Enter into these precious moments with abandon, and you will rediscover your sense of wonder, celebration, and worship.
Being alive to the beauty of our world nurtures a spirit of inner peace and reverence for life. In exploring together “how could this be?,” we help our children begin their journey toward enlightenment.