One of the gifts that I got for Kris* for Christmas was a book about creative mindfulness. It was an impulse buy that endless day I was trapped in Target. It’s colorful cover caught my eye and as I leafed through it, I knew that it was something that would interest Kris. I wanted to buy it for myself as well. Because I was freaking out about pulling the holiday together, I tossed two copies of the book in my cart, intending to think it over before I checked out.
I forgot about the book and bought that copy for myself. I didn’t realize it until I was going through the bags and wrapping gifts. I set it aside and pushed it out of my mind. I had Christmas to get through and I was looking forward to having all of my kids together again.
Kris loved the book and they were thrilled to hear that I had purchased one for myself. What happened next was fascinating to experience. I did not get the book for Kris because I felt that they needed lessons in mindfulness. I just knew that Kris would enjoy the activities in the book. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that the thought process that took place in my decision to buy the book for Kris took place in a split second and if I was to expand it and take a closer look, I would see that yes, on a deeper level I was hoping it would help Kris when they were overwhelmed and perhaps, give them a few lessons in mindfulness.
As winter break proceeded, Kris was engrossed in the book and periodically asked me if I had begun mine yet. I explained that it was a tad bit hectic around the house and I would need to wait until things quieted down. I never saw Kris without the book and as more time passed I noticed a change in Kris. Where there had been tension and awkwardness, Kris was calmer, assured, peaceful. For the past six plus years this child has been up, down, sideways and every which way and this was the most balanced I have seen them.
After the college kids went back to their schools and the work people went back to work, I ventured into my office (aka the place I dumped everything that I needed out of the way for the holidays) and looked for the book. I couldn’t find it.
The next day, Kris texted me, asking if I had begun reading it yet. I admitted that I couldn’t locate it. After the conversation, I went back into the office and did another thorough search. Still no sign.
Another text from Kris. Another failed search. I was getting frustrated and began questioning myself. Did I really buy a second copy of the book? Maybe I put it back on the shelf, trying to save money….. But no, I knew that I had purchased that book!!!
And then this morning, as I was began writing this post and my miserable attempt at mindfulness, I took a deep breath and faced that office again. I moved boxes around, threw out anything no longer needed and stood in the middle of the room, looking around at the same piles of things that I had been looking at every time I searched. And then my foot hit a stack of children’s books and I picked up the top book.
There underneath it was THE book, the one I was looking for, right under my nose all this time.
So, what was my first lesson learned? That I definitely need this book and I definitely need to be more present in the moment. No doubt about it!
What are your thoughts on mindfulness? Is it something you practice or not give it much thought at all? I would love to hear about it!
Have a great week!
^Kris is my 24 year old gender fluid child who uses the pronouns they, them, their.