this was forwarded to one of the groups i'm on, and i really loved it, so i thought i'd share it here
(it is NOT by me)
By Pam Young
I was at Michael's (the craft store) in the late afternoon when I
heard a conversation in the next isle between a mother and her
"Oh, Mama, look at this!"
"I love this!!"
"I have one don't I!!!"
"You made it for me didn't you Mama!!!!"
As I listened to the excitement and love for her mother in the child's
voice and the drone of her mother's responses, tears welled up in my
eyes. I thought about how many times I'd done the same thing with my
children when they were young. After all, I had a centerpiece to
make, a decoration for the coffee table to think about, colors to
consider, people to impress and not enough time! At that moment in
Michael's I would have given anything to go back to just one time in
the isle of a store, hear my child's voice and not miss what was
really happening. Love, joy adoration. The stuff of Christmas!
My kids are grown now and I'll never again hear their little bell
voices exclaiming their joy over something. That time is gone forever.
I had to get to the next isle and see the child! With tears streaming
down my cheeks, I peeked around the corner and looked at the child's
happy little face. She had a dress on and her hair was dark brown in
shoulder-length curls. She was holding a Christmas stocking with a
Santa Claus on it. She looked up and smiled at me. Then I looked at
her mother. She was tired. I could see it in her eyes but when she
looked into mine she smiled seeing my love for her child and the moment.
I told her what had gone through my mind listening to their
conversation and with misty eyes she said, "Now you're making me cry."
She dabbed her eye with the back of her wrist, "Thank you, I needed
to hear this. I get so busy and it's easy to neglect her natural
enthusiasm." I told the mother it was obvious that the child had not
been neglected, because she was such a happy child, and that I
understood how easy it was to get wrapped up in our own thoughts and
miss these holy moments.
I left Michael's knowing I wanted to write about this. Your children
adore you and they are like little joy dispensers, especially during
this time of year. Since it is also an especially busy time for you,
it can be so easy to miss those gifts of love and joy your children
are eager to give to you. They are gifts that can't be wrapped up
with festive paper or charged on American Express. Stay awake! This
is a holy time.