09 April 2010

outside the box

Spring Break is nearing its end, and I'm not only still standing (well, sitting) at 10:39 p.m. on a Friday night, I'm writing... and smiling.

There has been great joy, and there has been grand peace in my home this week.
A few hours into Monday morning, I noticed. Willingness. Energy. Color. Creation. Consideration. Grander, greater joy and peace. It has been SUCH a good week.

Although we've enjoyed good time with family, with friends and with one another, we've done little out of the ordinary, and nothing in particular. Nevertheless, this week has been extraordinary in the ordinary. How can this be? I suppose any break from the norm is a good thing. But the thing is, we stayed home this week. We have been here.

Herein lies the key, I think: We have been here.

During our break, I have been mostly present with my children, and they have been present with me. And as I have been present -- come wholly and fully -- they have responded with more presence, more peace, and with love, which has drawn out even more of my me, which has drawn out even more of their them.

My presence. I'm realizing it is my peace. It precedes and is conceived in love. It is the best gift I can give to my children and to myself. I think it may be the best gift I can give, period.

When I am present, I see and think and love more clearly.

This week, I have seen in 3D that my children are creative and curious. I love that about them. They are constantly searching, inquiring, exploring, concocting and their minds are expanding exponentially. They are a collective, creative force. Sponges soaking in and wringing out experience and possibility. They are playful and profound in their prematurity.

When they are present, they ask questions, and they consider. As I've spent more time with them, I've also been asking many more questions, and I have been learning, observing, creating and considering.

I've loved this week. I've loved my kids. And today, as they posed questions and they dined on cold cereal -- their breakfast of choice -- I took a temporary leave of absence to considered and to pondered...

Cereal, again?! Really? How can they eat cereal EVERY day? How many days and ways can two kids eat cereal? It's cereal. They need a break. What about some variety. Something else... like... like oatmeal (you knew it was coming). Yes. How about some oatmeal... Man, I love oatmeal... For me, it all comes back to oatmeal, doesn't it. Is this normal? I mean this is the real deal. I love oatmeal. Am I obsessed? I don't eat it everyday...anymore. But once I do... Oh, whenever and however I do... I delight! It's just that I am so... so... present when I eat oatmeal. I'd like to try Juli's oatmeal... I love oatmeal. I love my kids. I really love my kids... They love cold cereal; they tolerate oatmeal. Maybe they just need to get outside the proverbial cereal box. Hmmm... Cereal. Oatmeal.... How many ways can two kids eat cereal? They just need some variety. Hmmm.... Variety. How about oatmeal? Variety. Oatmeal... Variety... Oatmeal... I love breakfast. I love variety. I love oatmeal. How many days could I eat oatmeal? How many ways could I MAKE oatmeal...

And there it was: A CHALLENGE.

And then I was back, and we had a great day.

And now I'm thinking about my joy and my children and Spring Break... and oatmeal. And I'm wondering how on Earth this post about these two little people whom I love so intensely ended up in the steaming breakfast bowl where my posts often do. I must be on to something.

#3. Spring Break Oatmeal. (Inspired way back when by Leah)
(serves 1 in less than 10 min)

1/3 c. Rolled Oats
2/3 c. Water
1/8 t. Salt
Cinnamon to taste
~ 1 T coconut oil
~1T unsweetened, shredded coconut
~1 T pepitas
~1/2 T Raisins
~1/2 T Goji Berries
1/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine first four ingredients, and heat in microwave (~2.5 min) or simmer on the stove (~5 minutes). Meanwhile toast coconut (~1 min), then roast pepitas (~1.5 min) under 450 degree broiler until golden brown. Once oatmeal is cooked, stir in coconut oil, and top with remaining ingredients. Enjoy with the warm milk of your choice and a splash of vanilla, if desired (my favorite is ~1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk. Y
ou can also add more water to achieve your desired consistency).

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