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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oregon Coast

Seeing the wonders of life through the eyes of my child is unexplainably intriguing. Not only does Dylan see things, but he remembers them, therefore making his experiences much more important. Before our latest adventure, he spent weeks talking, sometimes incoherently, about going on a plane. He was so excited to be able to sit by the window, flying through the clouds, and land in a sea of lights. It's that fire within a toddler's personality that make things new again; to me, it was much more than a normal flight - it was my first flight too. I was taken back to my own childhood when something as simple as a bag of peanuts brought a smile to my face. How often do I forget to smile about the little things - how much have I missed because it was part of my mundane and normal life?

While we were in Oregon, we took the kids to the coast. The crisp salty air met us as we emerged from the car, and immediately energized Dylan. He ran with zest to the edge of the sand, almost daring the waves to meet his shoes. His Aunt Sarah had thoughtfully brought him a sand bucket with a shovel, which he used to throw sand and beach comb. As the sun retreated behind the wall of clouds, he ran up and down the beach almost as if he was purposefully taking in every moment he possibly could. As he did that, I held Cody tight to my chest, half afraid that the chill was getting to his little body, and half because I so enjoy the feel of him next to me.

Because family has always been very important to Drew and I, we were looking forward to spending a week with my in-laws very much. We all shared a vacation home on the Oregon coast, which forced us to become immersed in each other's lives. It is during those times, when we see-saw between frustration and happiness, that we truly learn to appreciate each other. Especially during the Thanksgiving season, I counted my blessings. Not only did we have the time and opportunity to spend quality time with family, but I am able to be a part of my neice and nephew's lives. My sons can make their own experiences with Hailey and Hunter, and look back on them during Holidays to come. The dinner talk for them will start with, "Remember when..." They will reminsce about this vacation, and hopefully many more to come.

Now that we are back to normal life after a great week, I wonder if I can ever settle back in. I hope that I learn to treasure the new parts of life: the first time we snuggle on the couch and watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on television with Dylan, the first time Dylan will actually remember telling Santa all about his wish list, the first time we leave out cookies and milk for the man in the big red coat on Christmas Eve. I don't want for the inconvenient and stressful parts of this Holiday season to overshadow the joys of my family. It is only through these twinklings in my children's eyes that I find I can really experience my own life in all of its fullness.

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