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Let 2002 be a time of magical things

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2001 . . . a year that has changed our lives forever. As the busy holiday schedule winds down, and I have a few extra moments to myself, the vivid recollections of the passing year flood my mind. Whether these recent events were local or global, they often came into our living rooms as uninvited guests. Children have become politically savvy in an age when television news sound bites lure us to find out more.

And so, I wonder how well I fared as a parent in 2001, when the daily news was part of our breakfast and dinnertime menus. During our conversations, did I listen? Did I answer my kids' questions with integrity, honesty and at a level appropriate to their understanding? Do they know what I believe about the pressing issues of the day?

This year of 2002 will, no doubt, bring a new script of unexpected headlines. Consider it a privilege as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers to be able to share with young, growing, impressionable minds the wonders, beauty, challenges, sorrows and the excitement of the world we live in.

Even if we don't know all the answers to issues large or small, we can stop, look and listen to seek solutions together, remembering that even children can teach adults, too. Take special note how the youngest discover and learn about the world. To them it's an endless stream of enchanting, magical new things: Snowflakes! Ice cream cones! Dust bunnies under the couch! And they want to share each and every one of these finds with the people who matter most to them — us.

When we stop and celebrate every ordinary miracle with them, we say: "Yes! You're right to be amazed. The world is truly a marvelous place." And the more we say it, the more we'll remember that it's true.

© Donna Erickson