February 11 begins Random Acts of Kindness Week

Think kind…

Speak kind…

Do kind…

Feel kind…

Share kind…

Humans need kindness.Version 2

Kindness Ideas with Kids

Random Acts of Kindness

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It is all for her, about her…

This blog is in honor of this gentle lady who has modeled pure and honest love and kindness to every living creature she has come in contact. I cannot express in words the gratitude I feel to have been sent to her as her child and to have learned how to be a mom from the choicest humans to have ever lived.

Four years ago today your light left the earth and it has felt dimmer and colder ever since. But a piece of you is in your children and grandchildren and we will try to carry on the legacy you left.

May all who read this blog always feel her warmth, her big huge hug span wrapped around you, for she hugged everyone–even the postal worker. And her sweet words saying “It will be alright.”

 

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I miss this little wave

Winter Blahs

“It’s the season of eternal phlegm, of hissing vaporizers and silver teaspoons full of gooey bubble-gum-flavored syrups that break fevers and dry up noses and end midnight coughs. All kinds of coughs; whooping coughs, barking coughs, wheezing coughs, hacking coughs, sniffling coughs. Some are wet, some dry; some are in the throat, some in the chest; some are from allergy, some from colds, and some from a mysterious planet called Virus. In the middle of the night, though, I’m not awake enough to classify coughs. I’m just trying to locate from which room they are coming. (Fate, pg. 165)”

 

Fate, T M. (2011), Cabin Fever. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

“MINE!”

There is a squabble. The toddlers are fighting over the same toy. Seconds before they were each playing with their own, happily. But one looked over at the other toy and thought, ‘Hey, that’s mine. I want to play with that now.’ And she gets up to take what she believes is hers, even though the other child is playing with it.

You rush in as the responsible adult. You explain “sharing” as simply as you can, while taking the toy away. The squabble escalates…

How absurd is that concept; sharing! In toddler’s mind, everything is his and made for him. ‘Sharing…? You adults are so dumb!’

But do we grow out of “MINE?” Some people never do. And it creates a unique family dynamics.

A family is a little community. Each has a role in that space. It is a unit that learns to work together as a whole’ as an “US” entity but it does not always run as such. Many families do not operate in an “us, we, or ours” fashion. They chose or have learned by example to initiate a “mine” philosophy. A “mine” entity distinguishes separations in the unit and hierarchy and power are the result as it runs as independent pieces rather than as a collective connective whole.

Certainly a child is not going to pay rent even though a parent supplies shelter. Certainly a stay-at-home mother cannot pay bills when her income is based on a shared spouses income. Certainly a father’s income is not earned for him solely. As you build and create a family unit you are a whole unit and how you can operate collectively and interconnectively depends on how you assert what is yours or give and share what is “ours.” A family is not independent pieces of a unit just stuck together. It is supposed to be a sharing community that everyone connects to and learns to work with and consequently loves each other.

I have difficulty when I hear adults who live in family units talk about their things as “mine.” “My” car, “my” house, “my” table, “my” bed you sleep in, “my” food you eat…referring to family members as disconnects to things actually helping them thrive. It makes the member not a part of the money or object, but almost instills guilt that they are using or eating something not there’s and have to pay for it some other way. Have you ever heard a parent talk to a teen,  maybe on television, and say, “Don’t you dare put your feet on my coffee table…” And the teen takes his feet off. What that parent has established is that everything that is bought is the parent’s “mine.” The teen is not a part of it. Of course the teen did not buy it. But it WAS bought for the collective family unit to help everyone as a whole. The teen will not feel connected to it so he won’t care about it consequently, except for wrath for harming it and getting punished.

I grew up in a “sharing house.” Everything was collectively ours and a result of that was that we cared and loved it as our own instead of it being a “rental object” just put there with no love or connection attached. “Our” family car was not my father’s “mine.” It was “ours.” We all rode in it, we loved it, and we wanted to collectively take care of it because it belonged to ALL of us. We had a small cabin in the woods. My father did not tell us, “this cabin is “mine” and you all better like it. He bought it for “us” to share and make memories, and we did and love it and treat it with great respect. We felt that way about all of our things because it was given to us with love. There never was an intended feeling of being left out, or being disconnected in anything. Our family things were never an adult “mine’ but always intended for us all as a collective family unit; even as we built our own families. We are all family…always. And share collectively.

You may think this philosophy is absurd. If I work hard for it, I deserve to claim it as “mine.” This is so dumb…just as the normal ego-centric toddler thinks when a toy is taken from them. But ego-centric is vastly different than egotistic and independent. Aren’t we here to learn how to live together connectively.

If you think about it, the sharing philosophy, to help build families is much how God treats us as his big family and we his children. Everything HE has, HE offers to “US.” It is “OURS.” He never ever says, That’s “MINE.” “Get your eyes off my sunset.” “Don’t you dare drink all of my rain water I gave you.” “How dare you cut down my tree and build a house with it, did I give you permission for that!?” “You better eat every speck of my chicken because I can take it away when I want.”

You see…”mine” is only for toddlers…

The matter of believing

My three year old grandson looked directly into the eyes of his Lightening McQueen Car (The car does have eyes) and said,

“It’s okay, I’m right here.”

Some adults feel uncomfortable with pretend. Yet it is a very real developmental stage of children.

Piaget’s animistic thought means children give life to objects that are not living. It is their brain’s way of figuring out their world. There is so much literature and statistics and theories about the why’s and reasons. Some children keep pretending well into their early tweens and this is normal behavior. To play is acting out and creating social stories about real life and how they fit into it. Some pretend play is quite involved.

But what you should ask yourself is why you are so uncomfortable with it?

In the matter of Christmas the con chatter is a BIG lie you are initiating with the Big Man in the Red Suit.

“My children are smarter than that!”

But they are forgetting that children are not adults and their brains are not adult brains. Yet, even after they tell them…their children still want to believe and question why others do.

Santa Surprise

Do you remember the Christmas when you finally figured out yourself how it works, without anyone telling you? Surprise! That was your brain growing up. So many parents ruin the beautiful surprise of wonder and fascination by worrying that if they encourage enchantment it will give children false hope.  Yet on the contrary the ones who get to believe in the magical already are using their brain muscles to learn how to believe and have faith. Their own brains figure it out when they are ready and that is the key.

Give them time to be children. Give them time to believe in enchantment and encourage it. It will be delightful for you as well as them. Santa Claus is so wonderful. But he is because you make him so…

Isn’t it fascinating that much of the world makes it so too…

How great is that!

Simply said, simply done…

When I was a little girl I created my very own life philosophy with six simple words. I spent time drawing them vertically on a small piece of poster board, decorating each individual word differently. I taped the board above my bedroom door and would repeat the words every single day, over and over for years.

Later additions to my little six word philosophy came with age and passing experiences such as these.

“Blessed”

“Kindness Matters”

“Trust God”

“Listen”

“Simplify”

“Marvel and be Amazed”

But those original six little words continue to pop into my head often, as they did today. I chose not to post them because they feel sacred to me; written in my innocence.

Recently, I read a statement that won’t leave my head and I believe sums up my little six word philosophy in only two.

The statement is just as sweet and holy.

“MORE GOOD…”

The month of December collectively represents, to me this beautiful simple philosophy. Humankind seems to be seeking to bring more good during this time of year more than any other time. It is felt.

Every day I wish to add more good to the world.

More good is contagious. If I spread a little to someone or something, then that has the possibility to give more good to someone else. And on and on…

More Good; simply said, simply done.

A two word philosophy that is worth holding on to.

“He that doeth good is of God…”

(3rd John 1:11)

 

Teaching the art of gratefulness #2

Gratefulness 101:

1. Say Grace and teach your babies to thank God beginning at age one. Explain , with love why you pray.

2. Go on child guided walks with time and electronics left home. And love earth with them!

3. Read stories then talk about the message after. This is a powerful teaching  tool with a cuddle moment as a bonus.

4. Take care of something living together; a pet, a plant, a bird-feeder, ducks in a pond, worms that you give scraps, etc. We share the earth we don’t just take from it.

5. Give your baby a teeny chore that teaches them they can help and that work is fun. We all can help. It’s funnest to do work together.

6. You can never express too much gratefulness in conversation especially directed to those feelings for your baby.

*Gratefulness is a spirit derived from love. Practice with a loving intent is how it is best received.