07 Apr On Marriage, Parenting and Intentional Living
This past Easter Sunday, my spouse and kids, now 3 and 6 years old, spent a relaxing, ease-full day at home. No fancy dress up, no complicated dinner, no company to entertain. Just our little quad – total bliss. While we intentionally downplayed the holiday, I felt it important to bring ritual and meaning to our Easter Sunday.
I spent a portion of the day playing “scientist” outside with my kids where we overturned rocks and examined the life beneath them. I welcomed the warm breezes, gorgeous sunshine and outdoor play after our long, cold winter months. At dinnertime, my spouse and I asked our kids, “Why do we celebrate Spring?”
We wanted to stimulate their minds to critically think about springtime, to help them consider what Spring meant to them and explore how they could manifest their springtime intentions.
They talked about the blooming flowers, budding trees, birdwatching and out door play. We discussed Spring as a season of renewal, growth and promise. We talked about making space for the new by clearing out the old, whether internally through our mental, emotional and physical body or within our home by decluttering, letting go, selling off, giving away or throwing out.
Later that evening, I felt grateful for the spaciousness in my day, my time with my family and specifically for the meaningful conversations we brought to our children. As gardeners tend to their flowerbeds, we as parents plant seeds throughout our children’s lives. Some seeds I try to sow, by discussion or example, include mindfulness, consciousness, compassion and flexibility.
During my first pregnancy, my spouse and I discussed some of our most important values as parents. We asked each other, “what felt most important in raising our children?” We revisit this conversation frequently. We ask, “What are our core values? Do our daily decisions and lifestyle support our core values? If not, what needs to change?”
At times, we have found ourselves far off course. Once we realized this, we made significant, sometimes difficult, changes to get back on track.
Springtime, this season of birth, growth, renewal, hope and promise, is an ideal time to check in with yourself, your partner and your family. Ask yourselves:
- What does Springtime represent to me/you?
- How does our daily life align with our core values?
- What can we let go of?
- What do we want to make room for?
- What seeds can we plant in our life, relationship, children, to align with what matters to us most?
This Easter, in alignment with our values, we chose the path of least complication – a no muss, no fuss holiday, a simple egg hunt in our home, small Easter baskets filled with creative crafts and one chocolate bunny in each and lots of unscheduled time with each other.
Our kids response: “This was the best day ever!”
Our response: Pure gratitude