MANHATTAN, Kan. — A few days after Christmas my husband came home with a sack from the local grocery store. In the bag was a combination of noise makers, paper eyeglasses and crowns. All items had 2020 somewhere on them. He immediately put the bag on one of our kitchen shelves that we generally use to hide things from the kids. I forgot about the items until my husband brought them out of their hiding spot on the evening of the last day of the year.
The kids immediately gravitated toward the noise makers and put their full gusto into kicking off a celebration. After a dozen seconds of the incessant squawking, which sounded more like sickly geese honking, we encouraged the kids to put the noisemakers down and choose some other items to quietly wear to celebrate the coming of the new year.
My daughter, who very much enjoys accessories, donned herself with both the 2020 eyeglasses and tiara, and she immediately began dancing around the kitchen and then took off through the house. She quickly ditched the eyeglasses, but absolutely embraced wearing the tiara.
As the evening progressed, we enjoyed playing a card game that we had spent a lot of time playing together since acquiring it Christmas morning. As we sat around the kitchen table drawing cards and trying to slow down our opponents, the distant noise of the television in the other room offered New Year programming. It was a calm and simple and lovely evening together with my family that all too often is missed because of busy schedules and distractions. We had nowhere we had to be, and nothing needed immediate attention on Jan. 1. The evening allowed us all to simply be. We were present, and close, and enjoying each other’s company.
As the East Coast prepared to ring in the new year, so did my family. The kids didn’t need to stay up until midnight Central Time, and I was not willing to explain time zones to them that night. We wished each other a Happy New Year and settled down for the evening.
The following morning, a chipper and well-rested crew appeared from their rooms. My 4-year-old daughter, Isannah, emerged wearing her new year’s tiara centered on her head. It’s a paper item that surprisingly did not break after its first wear the night before. Isannah emerged as royalty, ready to seize the day with her headpiece. And she and her brother did just that – seized the day – and enjoyed the final hours of their break before returning to school the next day.
For the next two mornings, although the calm and relaxed mornings have subsided, Isannah has continued to wake from her slumber and immediately place her paper tiara on her head before joining us at the table for breakfast.
She walks into the room with her crown centered on her head ready to seize the day, and despite her brother’s attempts to distract and unnerve her by helping it fall off, she calmly places it back on her head of curls and continues on with her morning. She doesn’t allow her brother’s attempts to impact her morning. She is present, and sits close with the family, and continues to enjoy her time with everyone over breakfast before she carefully places her headpiece back on her desk before leaving for school to seize the day.
May we all approach this new year like my 4-year-old has with her delicate paper tiara these last few days. May you enter each day this year intentionally with a crown centrally placed on your head. And may we all brush off those distractions and other instances that would impact how one wears the crown. And may we all re-center our headpieces quickly in order to seize each day!
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.
— Kim Baldwin, McPherson County farmer and rancher, Kansas Farm Bureau
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