Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Teacher

I decided that in this age of technology I would stay away from it as much as possible on Christmas. So I took a 2 day vacation. Today I found my computer still working and my phone still functioning. But now I am ready to resume my inquiry into the workings of the world and my place in it. I am back to visit with you.

The presents filled the room, candles burned, the fireplace warmed and carol accompanied the time of family. Sydney and Gabby played their Christmas songs on the piano before one ribbon was tossed aside. It was their decision. An amazing decision considering the presents behind them calling out their names.

One by one the presents were opened, thank yous and discussion followed. A slow process but one held over from my childhood. We are a family who celebrates each and every moment of gift giving cheering the thought that went into each gift. Children’s painted pictures become highly praised pieces of art. A package of homemade buckeye candy fattens up a grandma, birds get a new home and a frame flashes pictures of my cherished family. The gifts are well thought in trying to find that one that will make the recipient smile.

I gave ukuleles to my granddaughters. No one needs to plug them in or have special equipment to run them. They will take some learning, some laughter and maybe in the end some music. I got one for myself as well, so we can learn together. Their friend, Heather, got a guitar. I’m thinking maybe we can form a band. Watching the girls on the piano and the pride they felt in themselves for their accomplishments was perhaps my best Christmas present. Now we tackle something entirely different. However, no different than the paint and brushes, no different than the big piece of furniture with the smiling keys, no different than a pencils and a blank piece of paper, we shall find a new way to be successful, to accomplish something from nothing on these ukes.

A baby in a manger taught us much. Maybe I am not the teacher. Perhaps these children are teaching me to pick up the pencil and learn to draw. Perhaps they are telling me that my aching hands can play the strings of a ukulele. Perhaps they are teaching me to listen and change my ways, to grow into something better, to see the world from other perspectives. Perhaps, just perhaps, our little ones are truly the innocent wisdom that beacons new awareness, an awareness we have been too busy to acknowledge.

I wish I could start all over again. I wish I could hold my babies and ask, “What can you teach me today?” I wish I had been less into myself and more into them. I wish I had thrown away all preconceived notions on parenting and started my own chapter. Perhaps that is why we become ‘grand’parents, because in the grander scheme of things, we finally find our place.

I leave Christmas of 2009 behind taking the memories with me into another year of learning. I encourage you the same. For the richness or life lives not in what we possess, in what we know, but in the mere essence of what we receive in the most unexpected ways.

1 comment:

  1. I stayed away from technology for a few days, too, and it wasn't even hard! Posted a short Merry Christmas blog and then didn't even check email for a couple of days. Last night I wrote a piece about the post-holiday blues. They are often a problem for me, so I wrote some advice for myself. Maybe others will benefit from it as well!