Feeling Safe As A Family

At 4: am, my head finally sank into the overly soft pillow in the attic bedroom.  I had been waiting all night for the last child to arrive for the Thanksgiving holidays at the cabin we rented in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I was thankful indeed, as I lay completely peaceful knowing that once again all of our children were under one roof.  If I listened intently, I could almost hear each of them breathe, though they were sleeping on different levels of the three-story cabin that we found nestled in the Tennessee Mountains, surrounded by tall gold and red trees.

It was a feeling every Mother longs to feel with her children.  If they are all in one place, close, we feel we can protect them, even when they are grown. But, in reality, we know that's not true.  They have their own problems and their own lives and their own mountains to climb. We were one family sharing this holiday season together under one roof, but we were each at different stages of our lives.

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Our oldest daughter and her husband are buying their first home together and planning for their second child.  They are proud and excited about the things that are happening in their life. Even with a toddler under foot, they are still use to a certain amount of order and minimal amounts of noise in their home.

On the other end of the family were our youngest son and his wife, with three small children.  Noise didn't bother them since that is part of their everyday life, and messes are just something these young parents have learned to live with.  Our son is pursuing his dream of starting his own business and buying a house is still around the corner a bit.

In the middle of the family, our son, Eric is still enjoying the freedom and struggle of college life.  He and his wife are not parents yet. They could shower their niece and nephews with hugs and cookies and give them back to their parents.  Not being accustomed to any noise in their home but that of their choosing, I could see them flinch occasionally when the nephews and niece's energy levels were at their peak.

Our holiday together reminded me of when they were small.  I loved rainy days or snowy days or any days that kept us all inside together.  Everyone else would be complaining about the weather, but my heart was always content–cooking warm foods or playing games or watching television.

Sometimes I would listen to their problems as they sat on the stool around the kitchen counter or break up their arguments as they fought over the remote control or endeavor to make them understand how very special each of them were. On very rare occasions they would all be in agreement and burst into uncontrollable laughter, usually at my expense. It wasn't a lot different then as it was this Thanksgiving season.  I wanted to listen to each of them, help them with their problems, and remind to love and be patient with each other.

But the rain showers and holidays end and everyone eventually goes their separate ways.   But the anchor of a family is more than being under the same roof or fixing each other's problems or even agreeing on everything.  It is sharing joys and sorrows, laughter and jokes, hopes and dreams; it is loving each other unconditionally no matter what is happening in our lives, and it is being there however we can. That's a safe feeling for all of us.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more