When I was a child my mother never let me use coloring books. She didn’t want me to learn to color within the lines. She taught me to use the entire piece of paper when I colored. She taught me that the sky should take up at least half of the page and not be a tiny blue line at the top of the page. She taught me to use all the colors in the Crayola box and that people could not be expressed with only one color.
My mother reflected what she taught me in her life. She greeted every stranger as an invited guest into her life. She used the entire canvas for her art and never drew inside the lines. As a child I got messy, I dressed myself in mismatched clothes, and my mother loved me unconditionally.
When I was a child my father dropped the world outside our doorway. He entered our home ready to tell stories, play games, climb mountains and engage completely. I hid in closets and around doorways ready to jump out to surprise him. He would jump; leap in fact, into the air surprised again. He taught us the rules, life values and how to be a good citizen.
My father reflects what he taught. He lives upright, righteously and fairly in the world. He lived for, with and among our little family as if the world centered on just the four of us.
In my book When I was Young I Flew the Sun Like a Kite I touch upon some of the darker parts of my past. It was a challenge to open the door to some of that past, because in reality the rest of the story of childhood is unimportant in the face of such fierce love my parents showed me.
As a mother I see my kids go through life and I hope that in the end of the day, when all is said and done, that they can say none of the hard times mattered in the face of the fierce love we showed them.
How about you? Is there some bright spot that you can focus on that causes all the rest of the hardships of marking your way through this thing we call life fall away? Focus on those and loss focus on the negative aspects.