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As I drove home the other day, my attention was drawn skyward. I had noticed a large bird soaring above our neighborhood. I pulled over to get a better (and safer) look and saw the flash of white that confirmed my initial impression: a bald eagle. Seeing a bald eagle in the Cities is not that unusual, but am I more accustomed to spying the elegant form near the river. To have one grace the sky above our block was a treat. A treat I excitedly shared with my kids.

How often do we pass such beauty and grace without notice or acknowledgement? It is so easy to shuffle along with our eyes unseeing and our ears full of noise. To pay attention takes work. To help our children pay attention takes intention.

The reward to attention and presence is a chance to witness the work of creation. To teach our children to pay attention is to help further the work of creation.

Just don’t forget to pull over when bird watching from the car.

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On Christmas morning, the Little Girl opened these new blocks from her grandparents. Her first question was, “Do we have a basket for them?” Bless her. She wanted to know where they belonged even before she played with them. If only that were an indication that she would actually put all of her toys away where they belong. Acknowledging the system is a start, right?