On Being Together at Christmas

What Christmas looks like in our house…

Lucy and her hamster Ava early Christmas morning:

The kids opening their Santa gifts.  Santa brought the kids a few things to freshen up their bathroom (mostly so they would stop using ours!) including a new shower caddie!

Me receiving the most heartfelt gifts from the kids.  They both made me personal, handmade things: Luke a cross out of clay and Lucy cross stitched on new kitchen towels.

Lucy receiving her new desk!!!!

And Luke unwrapping a much anticipated lego kit.

And here’s my favorite…

You see, for the last 18 months we’ve been at home together – home schooling, playing, living, learning, laughing…and really focusing on what it means to be a family.  That’s no small task.  To live all day, ever day, under the same roof with the explicit purpose of figuring out how to just be together – to be together when things are boring and mundane.  To be together while playing out exciting adventures.  To be together when we have to do hard things or when we are asked to do things that play to our strengths.  To simply “be together”  is perhaps the tallest order on the planet.  Any mother (homeschooling, stay at home, with a part time or full time job) can tell you that really wants just one thing, just one elusive & intangible thing: to know that their family truly and deeply knows how to be together.  Because if they can do that, you know that you – their mother – are doing something right.  That though many (or most) of those difficult moments of learning how to be a family together may prove otherwise – there is a strong foundation of love, forgiveness and grace being woven into the fabric of your child’s heart.

For me, this image is the best Christmas present I received this year.  A photo of my two passionate, intense and spirited kids being together & loving each other. Of all the images of Christmas, this is the one that will live in my heart.  That staying home for the last 18 months did produce good fruit.  Those long and crazy days really did begin to teach us how to do the hardest thing families have to do: simply be together.

Here’s to all the moments – captured in a photo or not – of your family simply being together.  The moments that give you hope that you are doing something right.

January 5, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Merrilee - Sara! These are just beautiful moments and that last is one you will treasure forever. I cherish your words too…they speak to me deeply. Love you!

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