Another holiday season has come and gone yet the spirit of family remains. In addition to the benefit of being able to decompress from the daily grind, the chance to focus on connections, the ties that bind, remind us of our humanity. For so many parents, the work life balance can prove to be unbearable. Especially in times of financial strife as so many families have encountered over the past year. Still, the opportunity to loosen the shackles for even a short amount of time can be the spark that ignites hope anew. A chance to take a sinking boat and point it home.
My children, both toddlers, communicate with words and actions that discard nuance in favor of raw truth. An innocence that my wife and I cherish in an era of dissonance fueled by economic stagnation and digital information overload. “You’re a Pamper head!” uttered from an otherwise angelic little bugger can melt even the coldest of hearts. In the holiday season with family members gathered, such unfiltered honesty helps foster communication between generations. For a few fleeting moments, the scaffolding encompassing everyone’s busy lives during the year no longer seems necessary. We’re exposed, imperfections and all, as human beings.
Facing the reality of life without pretense, free of artifice, challenges us at the very core of our existence. The public persona we often work diligently to maintain in our daily lives has no place among family. Or at least it shouldn’t. Your family knows the you who was in diapers. The you who ventured in wide-eyed on the first day of school. The you who was too cool for anyone in high school. And of course, the you who now has come full circle as a parent. Life’s funny in this way. We share common experiences yet find it difficult to share them with one another. Maybe 2011 emerges as the year of personal change. Another step in the evolution of being a parent.
What was your holiday experience like with your family? Was it stress filled or an opportunity to start anew?