Monday, August 15, 2011

Memories of Our Presence

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? If you could pick out one or two moments spent with your mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, etc what one or two moments would you choose as your most treasured?

One of my favorite memories of a moment shared with my mom was when I didn’t pass my driver’s test in high school. I know – not a highlight. That’s exactly why this particular moment is a favorite of mine. I was really crushed and disappointed. I remember being in my room sitting on the floor next to my bed and my mom sat there with me just holding me with her arms wrapped around me. She – just – held – me. I’m sure she encouraged me as well, but I don’t remember the words. I remember the feeling.

I’d pick the times I rode with my dad in his pickup truck as some of my favorite memories spent with him. I would just revel in being in his presence and having his attention. Time spent together that I cherish.

You see, it’s not always what we say that creates some of the strongest memories with our children. Although our words DO matter, it’s often an image that we call to our minds when thinking of the past. It’s being in the presence of those we love. That’s why the time we spend with our children is so priceless.

What will your children remember about you? Will they remember the moments you shared together or will they have an image of you being too busy or hurried to spend time with them? What image will they call to their minds and hold tightly to their hearts?

Our presence matters. We don’t have to have something profound to say when our children have a bad day at school. We don’t have to create some huge spectacle for them. We simply need to be with them. They may act like they don’t want us there, or they may not even let us know how they feel about us being there – but the fact that we ARE there is what matters the most.

I’m just as guilty as the next person of getting caught up in my projects, plans, and “to-do’s.” But I am constantly working at setting those things aside (for they will always be there needing my attention) and focusing instead on two precious girls who are growing quicker than I can blink. And every moment I spend with them is a moment invested into who they are becoming as young women. When they look back, I hope they will draw from many, many moments where my presence mattered to them.

Every single person can give the gift of his or her presence to someone else. So who will get the gift of your presence today? Just remember… every time you give yourself away – you’re creating a memory. A memory that just may be treasured.

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