This past Sunday my sister visited us for brunch. I cooked and then we went for a walk to the local playground. We hung out there for a while and then went home. That was when an incredible thing happened: I was given a surprise birthday party.
If you know me, you know that I LOVE my birthday. I love everything about it, the gathering of friends, the well wishes and of course the cake. I feel deeply grateful to be alive every year and I love celebrating that. But a surprise party - wow!!! That takes the feeling to a whole other level. It was incredible.
And that got me thinking about surprises - how they feel and what they bring up for us. After feeling the adrenal rush from the surprise, I was, of course, happy and filled with gratitude. A surprise party forces presence. You are with your feelings in that moment. And everyone attending is with you in that moment, those feelings, as well. It is a pretty miraculous thing.
A couple of the kids there had never been to a surprise party. They were riveted and excited. Even my son, who is pretty cool most of the time, said, "Mind Blown, Mom."
I wondered how could we prepare our kids for such quick gear shifts, when surprises come in the form of parties, or other unexpected events. Is there some way to teach our children ease and peace in these kinds of situations? And at the same time how do we encourage the fun and exuberance that they feel naturally?
Most of all, and my surprise party was still another way to reinforce this lesson, we need to teach our children that the passage of time is important and meaningful, as is the ability to be present to experience the moments that mark, and make our time together.
It is truly incredible that we get to be here every new year, celebrating, and it is my birthday wish that we continue to do so, by sharing our stories and documenting our lives, together.