Happy First Day of Summer! National Aboriginal Day! Happy Father’s Day!
How could one day pack in so much to celebrate? If we want to be honest with ourselves – everyday has much to celebrate. We decide if we celebrate life, appreciate what we have and by ‘have’ – the reference is to love, health, relationships. And yes, I recognize with really living life comes hardships, disappointments with concerns and questions related to can how to take the next step? Remember the hardships, disappointments already experienced in your lives and remind yourself “I am still here. I am stronger. I am smarter. I am wiser. I am connected.”
Yesterday was one of those days that only exemplified how fortunate I am to be a part of the circles I am in. The day began with the last basketball session and as we were walking up the stairs Leila said she wanted to keep playing basketball. Jen Bourget, coordinator of the Jumpstart Basketball Program is a joy to watch as she interacts with the children. All of the kids in this program are encouraged to play, to learn, to love the game. To see how they improve from one week to the next is exciting. The coaches at each station are so encouraging and helpful. This time keeps me connected to people who influence my life positively – the parents of the other children, some who have been in my life since they were students and some who have been introduced because Leila is in my life. Being back in the world of basketball reminds me how this game was intricate in my character development. I am grateful to Jen and her team.
Leila had a birthday party and I had a wedding. The scheduled required some juggling, however as stated earlier – my circles.
I was privileged to witness a union of a young couple. Leila was able to attend the ceremony and told the bride she looked like a princess. And she did. If the ceremony and celebration are any indication of the strength and commitment of the love the couple shares, the world will evolve with hope sprinkled with possibilities. This marriage is the coming together of two families that by all accounts are thrilled the children have chosen to marry. During the ceremony as a symbol of their love they closed a time capsule that contains a bottle of wine and two letters to be opened on their 5th anniversary. They wrote letters to each other stating why they love one another; neither knows what the other wrote. During the dinner the speeches given in honour of the couple were emotionally based in love and respect. Lots of joyful tears. One of the highlights was a video produced by one of the groom’s brothers. What an absolute hoot! The video was a window into the couple’s daily lives, which only confirms the love they share, is genuine to the core.
The birthday party Leila attended only affirmed we are a part of a microcosm that personifies what is good in this world. The children encouraged each other as they attempted to climb the rock wall and played inclusively in the pool. Lots of smiles and giggles. For children to be kind to one another, accepting of one another, have the ability to be true to themselves in front of others – I look to the relationships I have with their parents – and they mirror one another. After the party Leila spent the evening at I am beginning to think is her second home here in Greater Sudbury.
Daddy, if you were here with us today – Leila and I would be with you. Your eyes would twinkle as you engaged her in conversation – at times she is wise old soul and at other times she has the innocence of the 7-year old she is. I have lost count how many times while she is walking in front of me in the morning I swear she gets her fashion sense from you. I chuckle and know you are here with me on this parenting journey. She is also confident in being herself. She knows who she is. She is comfortable with who she is. And I am reminded of you – your countless ideas on how to make the world a better place; your comfort in your own fashion sense that epitomized the importance of embracing your identity; your wisdom that was well before mainstream time – parenting strategies you shared before Dr. Spock was published; financial savvy long before the Wealthy Barber was printed. I miss your hugs. I miss our philosophical discussions. I miss you for so many reasons.
So for those who can take the opportunity to speak with your Dad(s). For those of us, who are connected spiritually take the time to reflect on the gifts your father(s) passed on.