Life has been busy lately, filled with music lessons, concerts, a birthday girl and her party.
It's amazing to think my sweet Caroline is twelve years old. She really is very sweet, conscientious, kind hearted, and anxious to do well. Having such a child means a thousand heartaches, watching her go through this world which can be callous to the tender in spirit.
And yet I am so lucky.
Last night, a special treat: I was invited to be the guest speaker at a local Cub Scout meeting.
What did I talk about? Bugs, of course.
Oh, it was a grand time, I tell you, and my audience was nothing less than the raptest of the rapt. For what could awaken the imagination of an eight year old boy more than tales of exoskeletons, of moltings gone wrong yet miraculously recovered, of ruthless predators fighting their way to the top of the food chain, perfectly rolled dung balls fifty times the weight of their handlers, beetle dances and navigations by the Milky Way, and those who devour carrion in the desert?
Needless to say, the Tollipop Beetle Club swelled considerably in ranks by the end of the evening!
This morning I read an address given by M. Russell Ballard, who is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
"...Our belief in the overriding importance of families is rooted in restored doctrine. We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death...
Our family-centered perspective should make us strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness--both our own and that of our children--than how well we love and support one another within the family."
These words reflect what's at the core of my being: a feeling of profound respect for my children, an awareness of the great gift and responsibility it is to raise them. The frequent realization I've been lapped several times over.
On a broader note, I hope these feelings guide me with every step I take: profound respect, wonder and awareness. I'm not saying they always do, but that is still my hope. I think they go to the heart of gratitude, revealing greater beauties in life and providing an important context for darker moments.
Wishing you a lovely weekend, and a deeper awareness of it.