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Sometimes Life Is All About the "Give"

12/31/2009 / Parenting

I'm up at a ski lodge today. You see the girls had a snow day today and school was cancelled. That doesn't happen very often where we live. But today, it did and their dad called home from work this morning and had the spontaneous idea to bring them up the mountain and teach them to snowboard.

We all set about in a flurry of a motion to get ourselves ready. I am not one to ski or snowboard. I hate being cold and I get cold very easily. Plus, I've just never had the desire to learn! But I knew that if my youngest were to get a chance to learn, I'd have to go up as well. So I made plans to bring my laptop, a few magazines, and I planned on sitting in the lodge.

As we drove up the mountain, I had to do some "me" talking. I'm not sure why, but even though I'd made the decision to come up with the rest of my family, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was feeling a little bit left out. Isn't that crazy? My family had been asking me to come with them, to give snowboarding a try and they'd been nothing short of encouraging in wanting me to be included and involved. But I still felt left out. Maybe it was because they were all going to start something together that I wouldn't be a part of. I could be there cheering them on but I wouldn't really be participating in it with them. That was my choice, I know. But I couldn't help but feel like I wanted them to be interested in something else. Something that I liked!

So it took me a good part of the trip up the mountain to talk to myself and tell myself to snap out of it. I had to get over the fact that my plans for the day to catch up on a little more of my housework wouldn't be happening. I had to tell myself that I could either enjoy this day and experience, or I could make it not only miserable for myself, but everyone else as well.

It is now late afternoon. I've watched out the lodge window and seen both of my daughters come down the bunny slope for the first time. And I've laughed as they clumsily fell, and I've gotten tears in my eyes to see in amazement; how well they are doing for their first time out. I have felt their excitement today and by being here I've gotten to share it with them.

I've learned something today. Something that I know I will continue to learn time and time again. That life isn't all about me. It's not about me being comfortable all of the time. It's not about me getting my way or being able to be the center of everything. Sometimes life is all about the "give." It's about getting something internally far greater from having to deny yourself something else. It's about getting to see someone else get something they are excited about and feeling like you helped make it happen. Sometimes it's just about learning that it's better to give than to receive.

You know what? I wouldn't have missed today for anything. I love my girls more than I love a clean house and more than I love being able to do something that I enjoy. I love that they have a father who wants to enjoy experiences and activities with them and someone who will take the time to lovingly teach them. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes over learning something new in life and just being able to be alive and enjoy life! They should have that.

I know that there will come times in life where it will be my turn. Hopefully, when I find those things that bring passion and joy to my heart - I will be able to share them with my family and they can partake in them with me. But if not, I hope that they will be able to cheer me on, just as today I am cheering them on. That's what you do when you love someone. You give of yourself.

Today, it was my turn to give. And I'm not sorry. Oh what I would have missed out on if I hadn't.

~Dionna Sanchez is Founder of and freelance writes. She also blogs at
Contact her at

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