Friday, December 25, 2015

A month of gifts, day 25: The Gift of a Childlike Spirit

The times are a-changing in the Crow household. The three kids pillaged our remaining cash and took off in one of the cars, hoping to catch the evening showing of The Force Awakens at the local theater. (Some of us have already seen it. Once. So far.) It’s strange that they’re all so grown up that we can just turn them loose without supervision. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t have imagined this day would ever come.

One of the best parts is that even the older two have kept a childlike spirit, at least about some things. At one thirty in the morning on Thursday, driving home from picking up the Girl!Twin at the airport, I was listening to her and her twin brother laughing in the back seat over some video they both found hilarious. That sound has been making me smile for the past two decades. And now they’re bringing their little brother along on their adventures.

I wouldn’t have minded seeing the movie again in the theater, but it’s good for the three of them to have a little time together. All too soon, the twins will be really grown up and building lives of their own, and I want their brother to have good memories of the things he’s done with them. For a while, when they’re here at home, they don’t always have to be mature and responsible.

For the mom, Christmas spirit usually means focusing on the needs of others and finding ways to make the holiday special for those we love. That’s a good thing—but this coming year, I have a goal of regaining some of that childlike spirit of joy that too often gets crushed out by the weight of responsibility. Making magic for others is a good thing, because it grows when it’s shared, but it’s okay to keep a little for yourself.

The childlike spirit believes amazing things—even miracles—are possible. It holds fast to hope, takes pleasure in creativity, treats others with generosity rather than judgment. And it really enjoys the leftover cookies on the counter.

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