|silly little trinkets and treats compiled for 12.12.12|
My dear girlfriend and I were sitting in our daughters' ballet demonstrations when one of the other mothers raved about the amazing production her mom put on for all the grand kids on 12/12/12. Twelve activities, food with 12 ingredients, treats that start with 'T'. My friend, mother of 7, and I looked at each other. We had thought of nothing to take note of the day- only how we would get our kids to piano or ballet and still see our high school seniors perform in their Christmas concert. We were thinking of homework routines, college scholarship applications and what we what we would feed our families for dinner.
But it was a good idea to acknowledge the uniqueness of the day. I distinctly remember my own mom celebrating 8/8/88. We had 8 people in our family growing up, it was a good idea to celebrate! 8 ingredients were put in the stir fry, 8 flowers placed on the table for a centerpiece (rarely did we 'set table' growing up). All 8 of us came for dinner, which was rare, because daddy was always at work during dinner.
The memory remains sweet and clear long since the calendar said '88.
I had a 30 minute window after the last daughter's ballet demonstration and before her Sugar Plum Fairy party had ended in order to find my way to celebrate. I dragged Lucy to the drug store. We scoured the aisles-or I scoured the aisles while Lucy protested. She wanted to know the purpose of the errand, but before long she was resigned to our outing. The woman at the check out stand said 'We don't get a basket that full very often.' I smiled and paid, and Lucy helped carry out the groceries. She sat in the car while I used the back cargo hold to sort out my 12 items, put them in cellophane and tie them with a tag and bow. Silly little things; chap stick, a pencil and pen, a comb for the boys and some hair ties for the girls. Nothing memorable. Like the ingredients to mom's stir fry 24 years ago I knew these items would be forgotten. It wasn't the tokens but their compilation on the day that mattered.
|12 minutes of goodness in our library on 12.12.12|
Once all the kids were home for the night (after the little one's bedtime, but oh well) we gathered in the library. They saw the bags with bubble gum and toothbrushes and figured out our little celebration.
I set a timer for 12 minutes. On this day of 12 I wanted twelve minutes to pass by with us all gathered together. And I wanted it to be 12 minutes filled with good words and not criticism. Encouragement instead of sarcasm. Kindness instead of cutting.
We listed 12 reasons why its good to be a Graham. I gave no suggestions. Madi was our scribe. I promised we would end when the timer rang and our 12 minutes had ended.
This was the list:
TWELVE REASONS WHY ITS GREAT TO BE A GRAHAM
12. We have cool cousins
11. We are healthy
10. We are musical, we like music
9. We're funny
8. Being a Graham is never boring
7. We play together
6. Grahams are nice
5. We know how to serve
4. We like to learn
3. We take care of each other
2. Grahams are extraordinary
1. We strive to follow Jesus and His Father
The timer went off, and the kids kept going. The good feeling in our library lingered. The little kids hugged me before heading to bed. The big ones talked my ear off about this and that. I sat. I listened. They were kind to one another. They were even kind to me (this is a challenge for tween aged girls, mind you). I wished more than anything that John was there to hear it, to see it and to feel it with me. The reason we are doing everything we do; that feeling is the reason why we persist on all the other calendar days to be the things that the kids called out on the list. That feeling is our purpose, and our hope and our goal. To have that feeling every day. To invite it for eternity. It was sweet to let it shower us for a little while late at night on the 12th day of December.
The things in those little bags, the bow, the tag; those things don't matter at all. I will find them scattered and strewn through the house in days to come.
But those 12 minutes, and those 12 statements, those matter a lot, and I'm so glad for 12/12/12 and the mother at ballet who somehow instigated 12 minutes of heaven in our home. Those minutes will matter for a long time to come, even until the calendar reads 12/12/12 again and beyond that; even forever.