Tuesday, July 28

The Importance of Showing Up

My husband and I had differing views about visiting our son this past weekend. He was 'graduating' from the Army's Officers Boot Camp in San Antonio, Tx. Dean wanted to see the ceremony. He wanted to compare the Army base and all its components to the Marine base he had served in years ago.

He wanted to encourage Dan in this area of his life as he knew from experience the road Dan was stepping onto.

As much as I wanted to see our son and celebrate this achievement, I also considered the economy and our business and put in my 2 cents that perhaps we should re-consider going.

But Dean found some reasonable airline tickets, rented a car and received bonus points for a hotel from our other son, Ryan, so we made plans to go.

The morning of our flight I saw an article by Ada Alden in our neighborhood newspaper. She is a guest columnist from time to time. She also was an instructor in the 'Mommy and Me' program that I took our 2 oldest kids to when they were preschoolers. She had great influence in my parenting then, and as I read her article, she influenced me once again!

The title of her column was, "The Importance of Showing Up". Her life lesson in this column was simple and direct, "I believe there is great value in showing up and being present. Take time to be with those you cherish...snatch now the moments--moments matter."

Those words echoed in my ears all weekend. As we saw the vast acres of the base, walked the dry, hot fields where PT training was evaluated, shopped the commissary and showed my ID over and over again, I began to once again see the value in 'showing up'. Those moments gave me a glimpse of what Dan's life as a soldier was like.

Somewhere along the line, parenting changes. It becomes more a matter of spending time with those you love and cherish.

"Showing up" is what teaches you about the people you love.

'Showing up' is what you get to do as a parent.

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