Remember the story of the philosophy professor who filled a jar with rocks and asked his students if it was full? Then he added pebbles, and the students again agreed it was full. Then he added sand, and the sand filled the empty spaces, and the jar truly became full (you can read the extended story here if you don’t know what I’m talking about). The professor was using the jar and its contents as a symbol of life and priorities- the rocks signify the ‘big stuff’ like health and family, the pebbles signify the ‘medium stuff’ like work and school, and the sand signifies the ‘small stuff’ like material possessions. If you put the sand into the jar first you will have no room for anything else.
Let’s use that to segue into how I view my children: they’re like little beautiful jars just waiting to be filled up. And it’s my job to fill them up.
I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, probably barely a decade ago, I wondered if I’d ever have children, if I would ever want to have children. I thought the maternal instinct had bypassed me, and I was all-consumed in myself and building my future. Then I became a mother and the sand dumped out of the jar to make room for the rocks.
So I’ve very carefully set up my life geared towards this goal. My kids are little scrapbooks that I’m filling up with memories. They’re the empty canvas and I’m the artist painting the brushstrokes of the masterpieces they will become. I’m get-out-there-and-DO-it instead of get-out-there-and-BUY-it, presence more than presents, quality above quantity.
Why the mush and gush today? Well, it’s all Garth Brooks’ fault.
You see, I’ve got tickets to his March 7th show, and the country girl in me has been out in full force. Even if you’re not a country music fan or a Garth Brooks fan (gasp!), have a listen to this song (click here to hear ‘Mom’) and I think you’ll feel the emotion too.
“Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life is making sure you’re always gonna be alright”.