Re: Creating abundance

Karen James

<<But with this latest development I am not happy.>>

When I was a young girl, my dad used to work in an ice cream factory.  Every week he'd bring home two big brown paper bags filled with random ice cream made and boxed in the factory that week.  Some I liked and some I didn't.  But the thing I now remember more than which ice cream bars were in those bags, was how that bag was delivered to me.  I can still see my dad, arms full, posture strong, face smiling, spirit excited to share something he could give and something he knew I loved.  I looked forward to that every week.  I could tell he looked forward to giving it to me too.  The ice cream was free to him--one of the perks of his job.  

Same thing happened when he'd bring me home a big stack of cardboard.  If there were pieces of cardboard that were just going to be thrown out (and there were, often), he'd grab them and put them aside for me.  He'd bring them home, carry them through the house like it was something precious, and deposit them in a special spot in his workshop reserved just for me and all the things I was making.  I'd follow him. Again, it didn't cost him a thing, but that didn't effect the value of his gift.  The value was the way he shared my excitement and relished the spirit of giving to me. 

That manner in which my dad created a feeling of abundance in my life is one practice I've wanted to share with Ethan.  My dad did so by the spirit in which he shared things he knew I'd love.  Sometimes it was a stuffed animal.  Sometimes it was a roll of leftover wallpaper.  Sometimes it was a warm hand poking into the back seat of the car for me to grab hold of for a moment.  It wasn't so much about the stuff.  He didn't have much money left over to spend.  It was about how he shared what he had to give.  It was so sincerely generous, looking back now.

Doug and I can and do share more things that cost money with Ethan.  We are fortunate to have more to share.  Still, with almost every thing I do share with Ethan, I bring that same spirit of my dad's to the gift.  I love giving Ethan things, whether that be games, or hugs, or an ear to listen.  I love it so much.  And I can see, especially now that Ethan is getting older, that he knows I love it, and it means a lot to him that I do.  He's said many times that he feels like he has everything he needs.  He does have a lot more things than I had as a child, but I really don't think that's what he means.  His feeling of abundance comes from knowing we love sharing what we can with him--our time, attention and love included.  

When you give, give as happily as you honestly can, and give with the receiver in mind more than yourself.  That spirit shows, and is meaningful.  The older your son gets, the more he'll see and understand and come to appreciate it, I believe.  

Karen James

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