Marshmallows! I am not a huge marshmallow fan unless of course they are plopped into a huge mug of cocoa and I can watch them melt. However, I love buying marshmallows. I mean seriously I ALWAYS have marshmallows. Wierd huh? I mean how cool is it that you can get french vanilla snow man shaped marshmallows or pink and white swirled peppermint marshmallows. They have cute little brown gingerbread people shaped marshmallows and in the summer than have red white and blue star marshmallows. Come Easter I can have bunnies and ducks in pretty pastels and …. I know, I know you don’t have to say it! I love to fill my snow man tray with different kinds of cocoa mix and fill snow man bowls full of cute marshmallows. I love being able to say “Oh what kind of marshmallows would you like” yet….
My point is this. It isn’t that I loveeeeeeeeee the marshmallow or place any real value on the marshmallow. I really do not like marshmallows. What I do love and place value on is the memory that is made with that marshmallow. Does that make sense? I love sitting by the fire with a good book and a cup of cocoa covered in marshmallows. I love making my kids hot cocoa and watching them load their cups with marshmallows. I love the smores at the camp fire! I love walking down the baking aisle and adding them to my cart not because I love them but I love what they represent. So today as I was sipping my cocoa I was recalling a conversation earlier in the day with a friend about the value of people, time, things, plans. I was thinking about how important value is even if my idea of what I value is different from yours.
I think sometimes we forget. We get busy or consumed. We get lost in things and forget what really has value. The marshmallow really doesn’t make a memory but somewhere in my mind (probably because of fairy tale ideas) I think that there are things we do just because of some idea we have that a thing can make a memory. What adds value is not what is used to make the memory it is in the action. It is in the value you place on those involved, in cherishing and carving out time to be with each other and do and talk and laugh and listen. It is in not neglecting time but making sure the moments you plan are honored. It is about more than just showing up. It is about living in the moment. Living in the NOW! It is about pouring the cup of cocoa and sharing it even if there are no marshmallows. It is about more than the idea of something that someone else has painted in our minds. It is about more than the cookie cutter perfect world of proper this or etiquette that! Everything doesn’t have to be just so. Every detail doesn’t have to be planned nor perfect. My kids aren’t excited that I bought marshmallows, they value that I take the time to sit and just be with them, cocoa or no cocoa, marshmallows or no marshmallows. It is about you and me. It is about connection, real connection.
Ok so a little deeper- I lived a long time thinking if I made the perfect Martha Stewart house and perfect cup of coffee or tea or cookie or planned the perfect party or made the perfect this or perfect that that some how I could earn your love, your friendship. That somehow I would make a perfect memory and you wouldn’t see my flaws or my past or my mistakes. That you would forget the things you might see that you didn’t like and somehow I could earn some value in your eyes. Then something changed and I fell apart. Literally! As the pieces have been sorted and the picture started to take a new form I have had some learning to do. I still love the things that make the memories it is just that now I must as my self the questions to make sure I am placing the value on the things that really matter for all the right reasons and not just throwing in the marshmallows.