An Unmindful December

Being carried away by a rational mind. 

I have not enjoyed many mindful moments this December. My days have been filled with expanded to-do lists and schedules of errands and appointments. I miss being Quiet. I miss being Slow.

This morning as I sit down to a soothing cup of peppermint tea and crunched into a crusty corner piece of focaccia, I am uplifted beyond the chores. I choose to ignore the washing machine beeping, the tangled mess of damp clothes calling out to be freed and aired.

As I take each bite, I stop and taste the love and happiness that ran from our eleven year old child’s heart to her fingertips as she kneaded the focaccia dough. My spirit is brought back reminiscing to the night before – her wide eyed excitement like it was the first time she watched yeast bubble in water, the slapping sounds as her hands hit the dough, her body swaying as she uses all her weight as she works the mixture. I smile as I remember her hopping around the kitchen waving her fingers in the air, chanting “hot, hot, hot!” as she peels the skins off boiled potatoes that she just can’t wait to cool down even for one more minute. She sings out  “Mom! Come! See! It’s rising perfectly! Perfecto! Perfecto!” Our home is warmed and brought into her embrace as we share the aroma of bread, olive oil, cheese & herbs, browning and cooking in the oven.

I remember this with all my senses. I wipe away tears, which stream uncontrollably from my eyes.  I dislike the hypocrite that I have become when I pray only for my children to be “happy and healthy” and yet as my prayers are answered every single day, I push for them to be more. More than who they are. More than who they choose to be.  I push for tangible, comparable achievements for our children, according to benchmarks regarded as exemplary in our society.  I remind them to dream and follow their dreams, yet I rudely shake them out of it and insist they conform to academic and other assessable milestones.

My heart is bursting with promises waiting to be declared, my spirit pulls my mind away from regret and sadness in those moments that I’ve spoken from fear, a lack of faith, chasing unrequited ambitions driven too much by the rational mind. I want to be that passionate rebel championing their dreams. I want to regain my courage. I want to be more honest. I want to embrace the hopes I have for our family without the frills that distract and are not truly meaningful to me. I want to be forgiving. I want to be grateful. But most of all, I want to love unconditionally – with all my being and spirit, to parent with a conscious soul.

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