I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I’m not even sure why that is. Maybe I don’t want to set myself up for failure. Like by declaring that I need to make certain sweeping changes because it would doom my efforts right from the start just because I named them resolutions to being with.
I don’t like to fail. So I don’t resolve to do anything at the beginning of the year.
But still, there are times when my inadequacies are brought sharply into focus. So crystalline that I cannot ignore the glaring truth. Something’s got to change.
And that happened on the beach while we were in Florida.
We love to beach comb . It’s one of our favorite family activities. Scouring the beach for little bits of blue-green sea glass, digging for fossilized shark’s teeth, marveling over pieces of washed up coral and the constant search for the perfect uninhabited conch shell. We could spend hours combing the beach and not tire of it.
It was during one of these treasure hunting walks that I found a crack in my parenting. One of many I’m sure, but this is the one that really got me to thinking…
As Leela and I were walking along the beach, she pointed out the tiny holes that were seemingly covering the waterline. She got down on her hands and knees peering at the little dots that were spouting tiny bubbles.
This is the same beach that we’ve been visiting for her entire life. We’ve walked that beach doing the very same thing for as long as I can remember being her mother.
After poking at them for a bit, she looked up at me and asked what I thought they might be and had I noticed them?
And with that question I stood still. Did she really not know? How did I miss teaching her how the tiny clams that are washed ashore dig themselves down into the wet sand? How did I miss pointing out to her one of the most amazing sights on the beach?
With that I grabbed her by the hand and pulled her into the surf. I had her scoop up a pile of sand and surf and told her to go place it on the wet sand away from the waves.
After she placed the pile on the ground, I gently smoothed the pile into a thin layer and told her to sit down and watch what was about to happen.
And after a few moments the pile came alive and started to wiggle. A small army of opaque clam’s feet turned the little mollusks upright and burrowing for safety.
Upon seeing this, Leela excitedly ran back to the water’s edge to scoop up another handful of sand and shells, racing back to the beach to see the clams bury themselves again. Her eyes shone with wonder.
This might seem like a small thing to you but to me this was a glaring omission. I realized in that moment that I’m not teaching my girls to stop and look for the beauty in life. To look for the supernatural in the natural. That we’re charging through life like a race and not stopping to look for the loveliness along the way.
And that is one change I need to make.
In this high-tech totally plugged in world, I want my kids to stop and marvel at the magic of their world. Because the magic is there if you look for it. It’s in the tiniest of details sometimes, but if you purpose yourself to find it, you will.
So that’s what I’m working on this year and hopefully for many years to come. Not a resolution, really. A shift in thinking. An awareness of a crack that needs to be filled.
How about you? Do you believe in resolutions? Did you make any this year?