Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little stars

"In the eyes of children, we find the joy of Christmas. In their hearts, we find its meaning."
 – Leland Thomas

As kids, the anticipation of opening gifts on Christmas morning was almost more than we could stand. But as adults, the holidays become less about the wrapped gifts under the tree and more about the people-shaped gifts who bless our lives every day. Especially the children.

Children are little shining stars that can guide us grown-ups out of the darkest places with just a smile or a laugh. After the tragedy in Connecticut last week, I’m taking a moment to honor the children who are stars in my life.

My Macy's Heart of Haiti star on the mantle.

Of course, first and foremost, there is my son, Quinn. Because of him, I now know an intense, scary, joyous love that I never thought possible. He makes every day an adventure on which I can’t wait to embark. He’s my angel and my brightest star.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching our nephews and niece grow over the last five years. Justin is becoming such a mature, responsible young man. Devon is funny and fearless. Ashlyn is sweet and nurturing. The three of them love Quinn so much and help take such good care of him.

There’s the lovely Claire who has beaten the odds and already survived so much in her short life. With her brand new liver, she is strength and courage in a pink dress and cowgirl hat.

Our tightly knit circle of mommy friends has grown even closer as our babies have grown into toddlers. We adore each other’s children and have delighted in watching them grow together.

There’s the beautiful Eliana whose fire and spirit are contagious. Her laughter sounds sweeter than jingle bells. Her smile, brighter than any star.

There’s the loving Luca who is sturdy and strong, rough and tumble. He’s always ready to give a hug and snuggle. The sparkle in his eye reflects sheer joy, with just a hint of mischief.

There’s the deep and thoughtful Kedric whose intense and knowing stare makes him seem wise beyond his years (year?). Then, suddenly, he breaks his spell over you with a huge smile that spreads across those big, squeezable cheeks.

There’s the sweet and social Maddie who will engage anyone in conversation and reel them in with her smile. She’s playful and fun. She exudes happiness.

There’s the charming Olivia, the newest and eldest member of the toddler crew. She primarily speaks Spanish, but her kind and loving heart tells us everything we need to know.

These children and several others have inspired me in profound ways. Each of these little shining stars has taught me something. About love. About life. About living a life that is worthy of having them in it.

My Macy's Heart of Haiti star on the side table.

The Macy’s Heart of Haiti collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, jewelry and paintings, all made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items. To date, the program has improved the lives of over 6,200 individuals by providing artists with an opportunity to make a living, feed their families and provide an education for their children.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #CleverHaiti