Peace Among Besties

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It has been so hectic this fall. There are so many school events, sporting events for the kids, professional sporting events to watch, parties, social gatherings, you name it. After coming through “The Covid Years,” all of this hustle and bustle feels…..well……it feels strange!

It is overwhelming and at times completely exhausting.

A cutie mom friend of mine said to me the other day, “Remember when it was COVID times and we never realized how great we had it?”

Now, I’m not trying minimize or downplay the craziness of COVID and the incredible strain it placed on many families. At the same time, there are two sides to every story. And some of those COVID days were sort of magical. They were quiet and aimless and gave us time and space to breathe a little.

I’m a mom who has a hard time saying “NO” to opportunities for fun. Hubs is pretty much the same way. We love saying YES, YES, YES! We would love to do that!

But sometimes, especially when stress and tension seem to be running higher than usual, saying NO has so much more value for us. I need time and space to quiet my mind and my heart, recharge, and find the peace again.

Try explaining that one to three kiddos under 9 years old.

“Let’s be quiet and take time to find our mindful spirit!”

Yea, the kids don’t quite follow the logic on that one.

When the kids are small (this rings true for my 4-year-old the most) I need to find ways to engage my littles while also finding time for Mommy. And when silence isn’t an option, I have found peace in community with my besties.

When my little sister welcomed her second baby into this bright, brilliant world, our shared bestie, Aunt Nono, came for a visit. The three of us have known each other for over thirty years and we can basically say anything to each other. The hardships and challenges of being mommies was front and center in our chats. And we found peace coming together, not to kvetch and gripe, but to hear each other. We needed to sit in a room, covered with our kids, with other women who were willing to listen and hear what we were going through.

I hope you can find peace with your own special community this week. When you can’t find enough alone time, maybe you can find a way to find peace among people you love and trust to share your experiences.

What brought you peace this week?

Peace in the Creek

There’s something about green leaves around a watery pool that melts my heart. Must have something to do with all those summers in the Catskills, climbing up to the waterfalls.

Our little family finally caught COVID. I say finally because it felt inevitable and, sure enough, we caught it on our vacation out west.

It was a strange and terrible virus for us. We were as sick as we’ve ever been.

Isolation can always be hard.

With three little kids, we came to a point at which some of us had finished coughing and feeling crummy, while others had lingering symptoms.

We were in need of sunshine, the outdoors, and a return to something normal to raise spirits and take in vitamin D. In the midst of a heat wave, I tried to think of a quiet, isolated place for us to go.

Thankfully, the Brandywine River runs through our town (and several towns surrounding us). It wasn’t too hard to find an empty parking lot where we could walk to a creek access point for some gentle splashing and wading.

Bingo.

I never felt better in my life.

There was no one around. The shade and cool running water were intoxicating. We’ve been so blessed with membership to a swimming pool this summer that I nearly forgot about the magic of the creek.

Nature is an elixir.

Returning to nature felt like a return to ourselves.

I made sure not to spend too much time in the heat. I made sure to limit our playtime so as not to tire anyone out or push us too much.

But the water was so healing. The quiet babble of the water over stones, the birds chirping, a car driving in the distance; it all seemed to take us away from ourselves.

It was so joyful. And so peaceful. And everyone smiled and laughed and played for what felt like the first time in a long time.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Paddle Boating

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Recently, Hubs took all three kiddos out on a paddle boat. It was so fun to see them learning this new activity. None of them has tried it before. Paddling, steering, floating, all in a tiny boat intended for two, stuffed like a burrito with Hubs and three little bobbing heads.

They were so curious and interested. They were so determined to learn the rules of this process. They must have been asking themselves:

  • How fast do we need to pedal?
  • How does this steering work?
  • How can we go faster?
  • Will we hit the dock?
  • Who’s turn is it next?

Watching this process brought me supreme joy. Knowing there was no destination ahead of them felt even more delicious. No need to go from one end of the lake to the other. No need to race. No need to explore every inch of the shore. No need for anything but play.

It struck me, almost immediately, that this is what life is all about. This is where we find the peace of our incredible universe. In “play.” In “time.” When we remove the need for some kind of outcome, things fall into place.

It left me grateful and peaceful.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Their Happiness

I’ve read plenty of books that espouse the idea that happiness exclusively comes from within. Deep joy and satisfaction come from the light inside each of us and it is our job to nourish and develop that solitary, individual light. In other words— depend only on yourself to seek and find happiness.

In spite of this, there are exceptions to everything. Lots of times, deep seated joy comes from I’m others. Today, I found peace and joy in the light brought forth from my children.

It was the first day of summer camps for my boys this week. They are both finally at an age when their independence is FUN. Doing things without Mommy is interesting and exciting now.

Knowing this made me excited for camp week. But I was surprised to find the greatest peace rushed into my heart after camp pickups. Both boys had so many exciting things to report back. Their adventures were abundant, new, and full of energy. They have stories to share— and plenty of them.

My heart rested into that peaceful space I think many mothers know well. When your children are thriving and happy and encouraged and enthusiastic all on their own. I don’t feel pride that I’ve somehow raised them to appreciate things. Pride doesn’t feel like the right word at all.

It’s peace.

I feel total peace knowing that my kids are finding themselves. Knowing that they are learning and growing into themselves in a way that makes them feel wonderful.

This week, I’m grateful and at peace knowing that my kids are learning to find joy on their own. And that is pretty special.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!