A Beautiful Sight

My wife and I attended a free concert at the Three Rivers Arts Festival the other night. A few days later I had the opportunity to attend another one with my daughter. They were

wonderful outdoor concerts…and free (who can beat that!). People filled Point Park to listen, dance, eat, and sing. I looked around at the variety of people in attendance and was struck by the number of families. I watched as parents danced and laughed with their children. It brought back memories of attending these very concerts with my own family. Children giggled and their eyes sparkled with delight as they danced, bounced, and swayed with their parents. Parents laughed out loud as they enjoyed one another, their children, and friends. The whole family sang and clapped together. I was deeply touched. I had the joy and privilege of watching the miracle of parents bonding with their children through music, fun, and dance. It is such a beautiful sight to see families celebrating together.

This morning I watched a mother and her two young children in a local bakery. Her 3-year-old was a little fussy. At first she was frustrated. She even appeared a little embarrassed by his fussy behavior displayed in public, in front of “people watching.”  But she quickly composed herself and knelt down beside her son. She talked with him, explained what she expected of him, and explored what was bothering him. I saw them connect…right before my eyes I watched the miracle of a mother bonding with her son. In that connection, her son calmed down. She gave him a drink and he calmed even more. It was a truly beautiful sight to watch a mother so graciously respond to her son. As I was leaving, I said, “He’s much happier now.” She replied with, “He’s 3. That seems so much harder than 2.” I simply agreed; but, I wish I had said more. I wanted to tell her what wonderful children she had and what a beautiful job she had done responding to her 3-year-old when he got fussy. Maybe I should have. Even more, I wanted to help her cherish these moments with her son. Sure, he got fussy in public. Maybe some people looked on with criticism, but I watched a beautiful connection form between mother and son, the miracle of bonding between a mother and child. It was a beautiful sight! I hope she will cherish that connection. And, I hope that when frustrations arise, she will step back and realize the precious moment of connection, the miracle of bonding that her child’s fussiness provides. These moments pass by all too quickly. Three-year-olds grow up and, before you know it, they become mature adults forging their own lives. Yes, three-year-olds can prove difficult, as will the 8-year-old and the 16-year-old, but the opportunity to connect remains precious…and all too fleeting. Enjoy your children…every dance, every giggle, and every laugh, every frustration and every meltdown too. They all provide one more opportunity to connect and love. That is a beautiful sight!

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