It Does Exist!

Hello beautiful friend!

When I was eight years old, I wanted a Baby Alive doll for Christmas more than anything in the world. I was desperate for her! I don’t know what it was about this particular doll, the fascination with her lifelike qualities of eating and pooping that made me so eager to hold and care for her. The thing was, this doll was the one Christmas toy my mother was adamantly opposed to. Anytime I brought it up, or a commercial for the doll came on TV, she immediately pointed out how quickly the insides of the would rot out. She would tell me how ridiculous it was to spoon goop into a plastic toy (that was incredibly expensive for our very lean budget) and not expect that it would go bad within weeks. “No, no,“ I would retort… “That’s what the bottle is for! You feed her the bottle, and it cleans out the inside, and it all comes out as poop! In the diapers… The “real“ diapers, mom! It’s not gross… It’s amazing!” But she wasn’t having it, it was quite clear that she thought the whole thing was both ridiculous and disgusting. There was absolutely no way I was getting a Baby Alive for Christmas.

At eight years old, I was teetering on the edge of my maturing belief system that was questioning the validity of Santa Claus. I wasn’t quite sure… But I was leaning heavily towards having been deceived into believing he was real… When he was not. So, asking Santa for a Baby Alive seemed like something a child would do. Nonetheless, I hoped.

So you can imagine the exquisite joy, dare I say, euphoria that I felt upon finding a Baby Alive under the Christmas tree on the morning of December 25th. He did exist! He was real! Because there was absolutely no way my mother had made this happen. This could only be the work of Santa Claus. I was living the real life storyline of “A Christmas Story“, in the exact fashion that Ralphie dreamed and plotted for his Red Ryder BB gun. Where our stories verged was what happened after I opened the package.

I looked over to see the delight in my mothers eyes. Not the disgust that I expected or had been watching the previous weeks. She sat down on the floor and helped me unwrap all of the packaging and accessories. She asked questions and expressed awe. Together we made the first batch of baby food, and she giggled and applauded as I spooned the mash into the mechanically moving lips of my baby. We both eagerly awaited the first dirty diaper and she said nothing when, with slight disappointment, I noted that very little came out… Certainly not as much as had gone in! I remember the time spent with my mother all day, caring for my new baby together. The joy and sheer delight was exponentially greater because of our connection that day. My mother continued to offer “parenting“ tips in the weeks to come, and never once said anything when a few months later, my Baby Alive began to rot from the inside out. I remember the Christmas of my eighth year with a special kind of tender joy because of the gift it gave my mother and I. The gift of shared joy and connection.

So this is my Mindful Mini invitation to you as you prepare for the giving season. What is the true gift behind the object that you are sharing? Let’s lean into the beautiful opportunity we have to not just gift objects, but to give of ourselves, to give of our time, our attention, and our focus. It does exist! Let’s not stop at unwrapping, let that be the beginning… let that be the invitation. As you’re selecting gifts, imagine how you can use that as a key to unlock relationships and nourish them to grow deeper. It does exist! Let’s resist the temptation to buy more expensive things, or choose quantity over quality. What can this gift create? Let’s invite our gifts to be a spark that ignites an explosion of glorious light and joy. It does exist! That will be what is remembered many years later… That will be what settles into your heart and nourishes you. This is the gift we all long to give and receive… And we are so worth it!

Yours in heart,

Kelly Lynn Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

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