We went to the woods again, called back by the quiet beauty of the forest after the leaves fall.
We hiked and explored and looked for deer sign, moss, crystals, and caves.
At some point Pete climbed far up into a tall pine for a better view of the woods.
Within minutes of his descent I looked up to see Sage scaling the very same branches.
We hiked deeper into the woods and before long it was time to head home. As our path brought us again to the same tall pine, Lupine walked beneath it and began her own ascent.
I watched in awe, marveling at their strength and confidence and their awareness of their own power and limits.
And as I did I reflected on the story that this simple tree-climbing told me.
Our children are watching us – every day.
When we stumble, when we soar.
When we are inauthentic, kind, judgmental, or loving.
How much are their lives shaped by the everyday choices that we make?
Because how we live each day is a much truer lesson than the words we speak.
And as we hiked I wondered…
Am I appreciative?
Do I grieve and love and live this with my heart wide open?
I hope so.
And do I struggle? Do I have my vices and my shadows?
Of course. We all do.
What do my children see when they watch me?
I want my kids to see a person who loves without condition. Who delights in helping others without expectation of something in return.
I want them to see me love and care for myself. With self-respect not self-doubt, and with patience for my own shortcomings.
I want them to see me treat the world with love and tenderness, regardless of what the world might hand back to me.
Knowing that my children are watching makes me not only strive to be a better mother, but a better me.
Because soon they will me follow me high into the branches of whatever trees I climb.
And I will choose my trees and my footholds more wisely because these two are here.