Thursday, June 19, 2014

Proud Moments

This entry was a great one to write.  It was close to my heart on some many levels.  Just before I wrote it we had received some great news about a family member who is battling cancer.  Being proud of an older family member is a different pride.  It is a greater level of new found respect and a joy of having them in your life.  You realize how much of an impact they have had on your life and your family.  My memories of my Aunt are mostly all filled with smiles, laughs, and some mischief.  As I look back on how she impacted me...I am proud to call her my Aunt.  

This was published in the Kings County Record but I really wanted to share it here as well.  I hope you enjoy it. 
 

I think one of the best things in nature is growth and when you can watch it happening in front of you, that is amazing.  Being able to watch a garden grow is a cool thing; knowing that you planted that garden and tended to it, is even cooler.  When you sit down to eat the vegetables planted from that garden, you feel proud.  Nurturing your family and seeing it grow is similar.

I had a great evening recently.  The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect for being outside.  Usually that is enough to make me happy but on this night I was fishing with my son, so happy was only half of it.   As we walked along the river the sun shimmered off the water and as I watched him walk, I noticed an ease in his stride.  He talked with a maturity and confidence that I hadn't really noticed before.  When he saw a woodpecker he took time to watch it and I could now see a shimmer of excitement in his eyes.  When he got his line caught he didn't turn to me and ask me to get it, instead he unhooked it himself.  My happiness was overcome by pride.

On another outing I watched as my daughter entertained herself on a gravel bar.  She had already hiked a long ways along a river with me, and as the overly independent one in our household she never once wanted help climbing over limbs and rocks, even when offered.  She kept right up with the older boys and never once complained and when they all joined her she showed them all how to make rock paint and then proceeded to paint her face.  As I watched her growing right in front of me I was proud.

My kids and nephews were sitting on a truck bed removing wet sneakers and socks after an outing.  They were laughing at each other, making faces of disgust over whose socks were worse, and nudging one another the way kids do.  They were all bonding and creating memories and as I watched I felt blessed.  As I watched I was proud of the family we have all become.

Being outdoors and sharing moments like these with my kids is an amazing experience.  Lately I have really noticed them growing and maturing and I've also seen things in myself that I never thought I would.  I hover and worry a bit more about them than I thought I would.  When they are growing, I find myself wanting to slow them down, or even stop them.  I am finding myself wanting to hold them back and keep them from getting hurt.  Every now and then it is good to let them push their boundaries but I'm having a hard time letting them do that.  I tell myself, "Its ok.  They can look after themselves there.  They might get hurt a little but they'll learn their own boundaries and heal.  Through that healing, they will grow."  It hasn't been easy and there are weeds to pick from their lives every now and then, but unlike the vegetables, your kids reward you through every stage of growth.
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