Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Gift

During 2008, my sister, Mica, was going to school for her Masters. She wanted to become a school teacher.  I am not exactly sure what the assignment was, but she sent me an email and asked, "Can I get your opinion on my paper?  Overview opinion, ie. what you think, just whenever you get a chance?  Thanks."  I read this paper, as she called it, and knew that I should hang on to it because someday I was going to share it with others.  That someday is here.  Enjoy!   Expressing myself with love and pride for my little sister, who has grown into this amazing woman and wonderful mom. Love to you and the kids. XOXOXOXO

Our Gift
            It's been a hectic day in “mommy land” per usual.  I’m ready to put the kids to bed and have a small mental lull for the evening.  But, no.  We still have to go through the evening ritual of getting ready for bed.  “Ho hum,” I think to myself as I get them in their p.j.’s, brush their teeth, and collect a million and one stuffed animals—all who snuggle into bed with us nightly. 
            A process that should take five minutes turns into a half-hour expedition as they change direction, refocus, and change direction yet again.  “I really just need an “adult” moment,” I plead silently with the powers that be.  I roll my eyes and patiently recollect them from their wandering imaginations.  “It's off to la-la land,” I announce.
            The room, dimly lit from a single standing corner lamp, beckons us in.  We burrow deeply into the huge, oversized mahogany sleigh bed lined with our furry, stuffed friends.  Several books lay sprawled out on the warm golden comforter.  Crawling effortlessly down to reach these childhood treasures, Benjamin announces, “We’re gonna read Gold Bug, Scooby Doo, and Spiderman!”  “No, no, no!” retorts Madison.  “We’re gonna do Cinderella!”  Again my eyes roll to the back of my head as I put an end to the mayhem that has ensued.  “Rock, paper, scissors,” I announce in a pleasant but I’m-sure-tired voice.  Then I wonder to myself, “Do I really have to read tonight?”  The angel sitting on my shoulder laughs at me for even contemplating such a silly idea. 
            Nightly reading has been our routine since the beginning of time.  And, yes, I do mean the beginning of time…at least their time.  As far back as they can remember we’ve gone through this same exact ritual.  It's like breathing.  It's just simply what one does at night.  There are no other options.  And should there be?  Isn’t this what gives them the love of reading, the groundwork for their future courtship with literature, the necessary foundation to build a strong home upon for future successes?  Reading transforms us in more than one way—in the moment and for life.
            “Well, maybe just tonight I can get away with a mere two books instead of a whole library.  Hum, food for thought,” I think.  We snuggle deeper into the cream colored sheets and the warmth overtakes me.  With Benjamin on one side and Madison on the other, we’re like a caterpillar in a cocoon changing, forming into something new.  The story takes us away.  They listen as though they’ve never heard it before.  So attentive.  So loving.  So relaxed. 
            As I continue to read they snuggle in closer.  “What is it about reading that alters our being?” I wonder.  For it's in this instant that I have forgotten about needing what I’ve come to call a “mommy moment,” a time away for me.  It's now that my eyes have come to sit fully, squarely in their sockets and cease to roll.  I thank God for this precious gift in time, as I realize that I’ll never make it back out of this bed.  The joy of reading to my little ones has completely transformed us. 
            Then, slowly, I come to the realization that it's this ritual, which has been the same night after night since the beginning of time, their time, that I’ll intently dwell upon when I’m old and gray.  Sadness fills me as a tear escapes down my warm, soft cheek and reality weighs heavily upon my heart.  Some day this routine, this ritual, will cease to exist.  The only thing left standing will be the foundation that was formed in my childhood, transgressed into theirs, and hopefully passed onward to the future.     

By Mica Harsek
Oct 2008

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weddings are such beautiful events.

For this Valentine weekend we went to a, 'Love, Honor and What???', in other words, a wedding.  The bride's dress was a beaded, roaring 20's, stunningly beautiful dress.  Dave and Beth, had pseudo, but yet not quite, traditional wedding and it was great.  Instead of everyone showing up to the wedding where the bride was escorted down the aisle to the anxiously waiting groom and wedding party, then the reception.  The reception started before the wedding. The guests arrived and started mingling, dancing, eating (and drinking) before the ceremony.

After about an hour, the groom and the bride had everyone stand up and gather around them as they exchanged vows. It was warm, romantic and funny. They wanted their guests to actually participate in the ceremony, not just merely witness it from afar.  We (the guest) was the wedding party. As part of the Groom's vows, Dave did the traditional vows to the bride, Beth, he also wrote vows to Conner, Beth's son.  He vowed to love them both, protect them both and be a good step-dad to Conner.  That moment was very special, it showed that this was not only the wedding of a man and a woman, but of a family. That this union included all of them.

After the I Do's, the real party started.  

Expressing myself - wishing all of the best and a beautiful live to Dave, Beth and Conner..... 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grateful and Thank Goodness for Friends and Communities......

They say that everyday you should give thanks and feel grateful for something.  I do, everyday I give thanks and everyday I feel grateful for the people in my life who give it true meaning.  Over the years people come and go, some barely leaving a print, while others touch our lives significantly, leaving us with a lasting impression. Crossing their paths will give us treasures that are sometimes beyond imagining, and are more valuable than any possession.

In 2005, my husband and I, moved to a small town. Now at first I didn't think I would really like it too much. I am a City Girl after all. I love the diversity and abundance in choices, the hustle and the bustle (and yes the traffic) and everything else that the City has to offer. I guesstimated that maybe we would live here, in this small town, for a year, maybe two, before I had to hightail it back to the big City.

We moved to the small town after a stressful, life altering change, thinking that it would help us recover, plus it was a lot more affordable than the big City. We are only an hour and a half away from the big City, so I didn't feel like it was too drastic of a change, or too much of a sacrifice, or too far from those that I love.  I was close enough to get my big City fix, if need be.

Moving to this small town was one of the best things to happen to me. The people in this community have been a God send during the rough times, and have enriched my life through the good and the bad, in more ways than I can count. I discovered, 'The Volunteer' in me, sometimes more than I should, and became involved in different projects and committees. I enjoy the closeness and the it-takes-a-village attitude everyone has here.

So everyday I am grateful and I give thanks to all of you that have made a difference in my life, now and in the past. And I look forward to being grateful and thankful for you tomorrow.  And to those that have yet to come, I am grateful and thankful for you, as well.

Expressing myself with gratitude........