The Gifts Our Children Give Us...


The gifts my children give me come in droves. So many and so often that I sometimes stop paying attention or acknowledging them as such. Sometimes on bad days I miss them all together unable to receive.

Seemingly incessant ramblings in the back seat as we drive (I wrote about one last week). Papers, papers, everywhere! Requests for fresh water at tuck in or to read them one more book before turning out the lights or another walk down the culdesac so they can ride their bikes.

Their presence. Just being here as our children is the greatest gift of all.

I am feeling this deeply today. Our son is four. Our baby, four!

How did it happen? Time passes quickly and what years and losses and what seemed like a fruitless attempt to have children eventually brought us two. Seemingly never ending sleepless nights have begun to give way to a slightly easier schedule. Insistent requests to play WITH me have given way to opportunities to load the dishwasher or write a blog post while they have a few moments to play nearby.

All gifts and in hindsight I now know, no greater gifts than the years my husband and I spent together traveling before they came. The long nights of constant snuggling when they were infants (and 1, 2, 3, sometimes still). The invitations to play WITH them and remember to play ourselves.

the original zacca illustration

the original zacca illustration

The other day as I was cleaning all of the papers, the papers that seem to be everywhere, I noticed a gift from Calvin. It was face down on the mini van floor and could easily have been swept in to the trash bin. I however am a sucker for their art work so I flipped the page over to verify it wasn't a worksheet before tossing it and saw a zacca.

What is a zacca? Evidently an animal that goes very fast. So fast he's just a blur, a fistful of crayons moved swiftly in circles upon the page.

A gift. The gift of imagination!

My kiddos have always had an affinity for creative creatures. M asked for a flying hippo the Christmas she was 2. Cal casually warns me about flying zebras while pushing him on the swings at the park. M has a pet "walktapus" who I have yet to see but she swears it exists.

This summer as we drove to and from various places through the woods surrounding our home we discussed the various "animals" that inhabited them. Van sized rats, an herbivore so don't be alarmed. Rainbow and crytsal unicorns. Flying zebras (the ones I am supposed to look out for at the park). Many, many more.

When Cal started preschool this fall and his teacher asked him to draw and name an animal that moved very, very fast the fact that he chose a zacca elated me!

I recognize the gifts of these times and want to collect them, commemorate them, create them together. We have started illustrating some of the creatures and will be sharing them as we go forward.

The zacca above is the first of our "Creature Creative" collection. It's a daddy for those who are interested who has slowed down for his two babies (which is why he is not moving very, very fast). He lives in the dusty desert where it is very hot. An elusive creature we have yet to learn more than that about him.

Cal sketched him and the babies and described the environment so I could paint it in around him. The gift of collaboration.

Follow us in the weeks to come on instagram where we will continue to share our #creaturecreative animals.