Teach Them the BEST of YOU
I was asked my opinion on raising children. 💦🌞🌲🌳🌊🌾 Raise them with love and reverence for nature.
Do not ask your child to be the same as you, because then the world would not progress; it would become dull and lose its shine. Be glad that your child has arrived with fresh idea's and bold new thoughts.🌟Know that no matter how wise and experienced you 👵 are, they 👶will be your greatest teacher. Allow them to think for themselves and trust their own judgement in teeny tiny ways when they are small🙇; decisions getting bigger so that by the time they are entering their teen years they have confidence and you have confidence in their common sense👪. If you were wrong about something, apologize so they know how error and apology 💖work. Even when they appear not to be watching you🙈, know that they are watching you👀. Live your life with character and in a truthful way so they are proud of what they see. 🏆
If you have to do something that will take you away from them- say there is a bonus for working an extra Saturday and it takes you away from them- partner them in and give them part of it because they have sacrificed time with you.
When you are most busy and frazzled tell them; and then before you do another thing declare with a stamp of your foot you want 5 minutes just to enjoy them. And then sit and hug or dance 👯 or kick a ball 🏈 or peel and share an orange 🍊or lie in the grass🌾 and look at the sky 🌌while you hold hands🙏. "Five minutes with you is magic," you can say. "Let's find another 5 minutes after dinner." 🌟❤️
When they are little and being bold congratulate yourself that you are raising an independent thinker, a unique individual, and that they are exploring the world and going after it with gusto. Know that it is a good sign that they feel safe. Do not fill them with fear about strangers and others; instead teach them that if something feels funny or wrong to them they should pay attention and tell you. Teach them they do not have to be polite if a situation feels odd; trust themselves and their feelings.
Be kind, hold doors, warmly greet, treat all with respect. Model the behavior you would want them to have. Be light and happy. Be sad when needed. Explain how you feel and why. Play. Seek joy. Their achievement in school is their responsibility. Do not make it yours. Love big and love always. They have the potential to be your greatest gift to yourself and the world. ❤️🌲❤️
PS Some of these things work with a spouse! 😁🎉
No Sprinkles, Please!
I just thought of this brilliance this AM:
Say you are tempted to give someone advice. They are planning something really good, that they are very excited about, and instead of just being happy for them, you want to add your two cents. You
are about to say the words “Just don't," followed by some calamity. For example:
...climb too high
...lose your wallet again
...spend too much on it
...lose too much weight
....exercise too much
...fall in love too fast
...have too much fun
...do anything stupid this time
My advice to you is:
Negativity sprinkles. It is so easy to be generous.
Little Dogs and Full Moons
Just a tiny little post from a few years ago, when our little dog walked the earth. Memories of him still teach. ❤️
"No, it is too late;” I groaned. Yet little dog appeared to be nagging at the door with some urgent physical need. Ugh. I took him out. And then I realized that was not it at all. Because he was not at all urgent. He made me look up.
Maybe he knew the moon was beautiful. Maybe some distant wolf I could not hear had howled the message to come and see the clouds just so. Maybe he knew that Mars was close to the moon last night and that the clouds had just shifted enough to see. Maybe he heard the neighbors click their lamps on so late and was concerned they might need a blessing beamed upon their windows. Maybe it was the illuminated patch of grass he wanted to admire, a tiny circle of the earth, that he had never even noticed in daylight.
I was reminded to always pay attention to dogs and children when they want to venture outside. Look for what they know.
For the Love of Mother’s
When I was a preteen, certain stores would have baby sections where you could pick up a free magazine about babies. From age ten to thirteen I would make sure to pick one up to bring home, because I always wanted to be a mother. I would read the articles and study the ads and admire the angelic baby pictures. I think I stopped when I sensed disapproval from my own mother, who of course had a more detailed picture of motherhood and how it began and all that it entailed, and she did not want me wishing too strongly for all that so soon.
Thankfully it was many many years before I indulged my childhood fantasy of motherhood, and birthed three adorable rascals that were my darling companions and my focus of attention for many years. People would ask me if I was disappointed that I did not have a girl; and I would answer that I would not trade any of them for any dumb old girl. And how wise I was! Because now I get the best of both worlds, now they bring darling women into my life, which is another true delight.
Blessings on women everywhere with child and without for we all have a mothering spirit and nurture things in our world.
Blessings on those who are sad today, may they let the tears flow and feel better.
Blessings on those who shake their heads and think the holiday is silly and blessings on those who work hard writing poems for greeting cards to help us express what we cannot find the words for.
Blessings on the mothers who are tired and overwhelmed, may we reach toward them with assurance.
Blessings on those who want to be mothers and will never find a way.
Blessings on those who had distracted mothers and mean mothers, may they be better mothers themselves from their experience, and may their wounds be healed by insight and other relationships.
Blessings to those who feel like mean and distracted mothers, may you find a little space for yourself to grow in so that you can mother better.
Blessings on those who did the worst mothering, for what a horrible life they must have been living, to harm this greatest gift.
And blessings on those who cried for mothering kindness, may you feel that love from somewhere unexpected, my heart reaches out to you.
The original idea for Mother's Day was post Civil War, calling on the wisdom of mothers to prevent further bloodshed and senseless killing of our precious sons. So blessings on the mothers of our enemies; may we all raise our children to love all colors and respect all beliefs and appreciate all differences.
Blessings on the mothering instincts that reside in our men.
Happy Mother's Day 🌷❤️🌷
Out of State Calling ❤️
When I call my out of state parents we always talk more than an hour, which is lovely. I feel like I owe them a call sometimes though, days will go by and an hour to chat seems to evade me. I am lucky enough to need more than one hour, one for my mother (my stepdad Budsie died last November) and one for my Dad and stepmother, Jean.
My own Facebook post from 2015 was available in my feed today and reminds me how fun and precious the calls can be; worth sharing here, I think:
“This morning I talked to both of my parents and their spouses. I got all the news from Jean including her investigating local real estate deals while at the local pizzeria .....and then my dad got on and he had me in tears of laughter with a story about Comcast service in the home. He presented sort of an outrageous situation, imagine having an outrageous issue with Comcast- but he handled the conversation as if he was Christopher Walken. He was telling me what he said with a Christopher Walken voice and phrasing. My dad is the funniest storyteller! I could not speak I was laughing so hard and then he got to laughing.... Does anything feel better?
Then I made my second call. I shared a fast little joke with Budsie before he put my mom on, and we caught up for 20 mins before I heard they were in a bit of a hurry...they are off to the Boy Scout Sale in Chelmsford at the Congregational Church in the center. They are not going to buy anything though, they do not need anything. They are going for the burgers, not just any burgers, “they are grilling them up right now, they are really yummy and only two dollars.” She takes a breath. “So I've got to go dry my hair, Lucy-Lou," she says.
I thought as I hung up: it is so sweet to sometimes be called Lucy-Lou. It made me remember something my dad says about car shopping, "You could not pay to have this much fun." ( He actually loves car shopping, he is not being sarcastic.)
Do not forget to call your people. Remind me when you see me. I am very lucky to have them all in my life this long into my life. If you are missing yours maybe take a moment and remember one of the silly happy simple moments you had with them. Bless yourself as a memory washes over you. Relive it.
If you are feeling sad about anyone you had that you don't have now, sit with the special memories of them.
We can honor ourselves being full of missing, and then. Then get excited about whoever is in your life right now that you CAN call, love, and laugh with. Because I think everyone finds when they test the theory: Life is filled with love when you try to give it out as much as you can.
I promise I will take my own advice.
Dad the storyteller, Mum that calls me Lucy-Lou sometimes, and me. ❤️ At my brother’s wedding almost 10 years ago.
Add a Little Goodness
One weekend Johnny K and I went to hear this cool new band in New Hope. We had to buy a parking ticket to place on our dashboard at one of those kiosk's. We had just reached the kiosk when a younger couple approached. It was 8:15, and you only had to pay to park until 9PM, after that it was free. As they walked toward us the woman was saying "I hate to pay $3 for 45 minutes. If we had $1 cash we could just insert that, but minimum for a credit card is $3." The man answered, "I would pay $3 not to get a parking ticket."
Meanwhile I still had not figured out how it worked so I asked her if she knew what to do; suggested she go first and I would watch her rather than her watch me read the directions; especially as I was needing to get my glasses out.
She stepped up. Just then another couple approached. "We misunderstood how to do this so we bought two parking tickets. Anyone want the other one?" I nodded to first couple and they took it. All four of us said thank you. Second couple left smiling because it is so fun to be generous!
And then rather than deserting us, our new friends who were now parking for free, stayed to help. She asked if I had $1, and you know, just before I left the house I saw $3 on my bedside table and tucked it in my pocket, thinking single dollars come in handy sometimes. So I handed her my dollar bill and she slid it into the proper slot that was hidden amongst a jumble of options and arrows that were muddled because I lacked reading glasses.... and handed us our own ticket.
"We all just saved $5!" I said. The woman held open her arms and we had this spontaneous hug, believe it or not.
"She hugged me!" I said to Johnny K, as we walked to see our show. "That was so, so nice!"
Now moments like that will never be on TV and never make the news but it is moments like that that make this life sweet. We tend to get lost in the news sometimes, and fret over how the world is declining, and rant about how there is no more respect for anyone. And yet good moments and lovely people are everywhere. News must find the very worst things to try to grab our attention. They do not film all the wonderful things going on all around the very worst things. And even the very worst things serve such a purpose. They help us realize how we DO want the world to be, help us clearly see how we need to do better.
Now I take credit for starting that, a little. I did not tell the couple behind us that they could ~%}}€ wait a few minutes while we figured out the %#^}* machine....
It is very fun sometimes to try to start some good in tiny ways.
Did you know that when you are generous to others your body actually releases a chemical that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling? It must be natures way of rewarding us when we do something nice. It can be as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in line in the grocery store when they have fewer items than you do. It creates good will, and sometimes sparks little conversations, at a minimum a "Thank you again!" and a "My pleasure." Mutual smiles.
There were hardly any checkers at the market. There were lines to wait in. Twelve people in a store with three checkers meant lines four carts deep. I sized up those three lines carefully, trying to pick the speediest one. Passed two by but then on seeing the third I returned to the one in the middle, optimistic.
I was not looking to be advanced, only looking for greatest efficiency.
The lady in front of me was kind enough to notice that she had many more items than I did. I had not even counted, but she noticed I only had five things. She had about thirty. She was kind enough to speak up about it.
"I have so many more items than you," she said. "You should go find a better lane."
Everyone has their own way of being helpful. ❤️
I climbed this huge atrium staircase at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia one day to look at this awhile. It was children's art hung on "clotheslines." There were two huge displays like this. They were so happy, spirited, and hopeful. Like laundry hung out on the line on a perfect sunny day; for laundry on a clothesline is full of hope. You have worked to clean these clothes, and now you are trusting the sun, and a breeze, to gently take care of your clothes so you can wear them. Hope, faith, trust.
How nice that creativity lives on even as children are unwell and parents are stressed. Letting anxious thoughts work there way out through painting or drawing; choosing colors; expressing through both during challenging times. This is where I have been, this is where I am, this is where I want to go; there are perspective stories in this art collective.
It is just so pretty, and huge, up on the atrium wall. A group of small individual things making a different and lovely group impact. Like people.
I then went back down the stairs and into the security office to have my parking validated. I had asked the guard how he was today... a little small talk. But he did not answer “small.”
"Grateful," he said.
That Is such a beautiful word, isn't it?
I had to respond bigger.
Do you know that beautiful song, “Grateful” ? I asked back.
"Oh, yes. Who sings that?” he asked, and our brains hummed together while my parking ticket was stamped. I believe we were both thinking of two different grateful songs, and we did not find the answer, and it did not matter. It did not matter that we had different grateful songs, it just mattered that we both had them. We locked eyes and smiled.
The moment in the security office felt like the artwork.
Here Comes Some Love
On this ❤️ Valentines Day I just want to dump some love on all the people out there. All the ones who would give a hand and a leg up to anyone in front of them that needed it, all who give a good tip, all who would give a neighbor a ride 🚘 to the doctor, all who have shoveled 🌨 someone's driveway or mowed someone's lawn for them.
I am sending love to who ever gave a donation toward curing a disease; anyone who has prayed 🙏🏻 for the safety of someone who is not their responsibility, anyone who returned their library books 📚 on time. Anyone who has planted flowers 🌻 or studied to be better at what they do in their community✍🏻. Anyone who tried to make their lives better, anyone who reached for the stars, 🌟 anyone who inspired others by making their own dreams come true.
Join with me and let us include anyone who polished their car to impress a chosen person on their first date. Anyone who is living in fear. Anyone who carries self doubt. Anyone who is angry or disappointed or hurt or sad; anyone who regrets things they did, or did not do.
Anyone who has looked out for a child . Anyone who has watched out for an elder. Anyone who has painted🎨. Anyone who has learned an instrument🎻. Anyone who creates music🎼 and art 🎭. Anyone who has sewn a dress, changed a flat, written a song, baked a birthday cake🎂.
Anyone who has gone swimming🏊. Anyone who has smiled at a baby. Anyone who teaches with strength of heart. Anyone who loves a good joke.
If I reached out and held the hand of someone who is on this list, and they reached out and found someone who appears on this list and held their hand, I believe that by next week everyone on 🌎 our gorgeous blue marble of a planet would be attached to others with both hands. I wanted everyone to appear at least once on this list. Oh; to give every hand a chance to be held.
If we focus on the basic goodness and the feeling place, rather than the labels, we are so very, very fine.
Happy Valentines Day, all my full hearted people. We have totally got this love thing when we let go of the stories we hold in our heads a little too tightly.
This morning it is ten degrees out. I am on a very narrow road with no pass options and I am behind a one armed trash truck. (It has one driver and a mechanical lifting arm on the side.) Now I imagine that the person who gets this truck has drawn the short straw, because the truck is tall and just open at the top, and so you do not even have the CHOICE to just grab a bag and toss it in the back. Things have to be lifted by the one arm. And the one arm does not take turns driving, or ask you if you want to stop at the next Stardonuts to get a hot coffee, or ask you how your mom is feeling or how your son is doing in his spelling bee. A mechanical arm is no company at all.
So here it is freezing cold and the driver has an unzipped jacket and no gloves. At least the jacket is a nice winter jacket. He steps down out of the truck. I feel better when I notice that he has a warm knit cap down over his ears. I have time to think about him as I watch him, not able to pass him yet. We both wait for the mechanical arm, then we both advance.
The next trash bin had spilled over or been knocked over by a snowplow. There is a mess. Up goes one bucket via the mechanical arm and it dumps and then it moseys on back down. The bare hands of the driver have grabbed plastic bags of trash out of the snow and he reloads the bucket and the mechanical arm creak-creak-creaks it up a 2nd time and dumps, and creak-creak-creaks it down. And there are still miscellaneous small loose objects that remain in the snow and I can tell the driver is annoyed and his face is set grimly and he is also aware he is holding up traffic and yet... He reaches bare hands into the snow and picks five or six “smalls" up, and he cannot toss them up; no, mechanical arm needs to be engaged in its forty-five second routine.
Finally the driver stands the empty can in the snow, and bolts into the drivers seat to continue.
At his next stop he waves me past but I put my car in park and get out because I am going to give him a piece of my mind, yessiree. Cars pass us as I walk toward him. He sees me coming. I said something like "About that mess back there," and this man starts to apologize that he had “appeared annoyed” but the bucket had been tipped over and I said "no no no I wanted to THANK YOU because it is SO COLD today and I was AMAZED how carefully you cleaned that up- I appreciate your taking care of our world that way- and so thank you!" ... and then I slugged him on the arm for good measure, as I believe it to be a sign of sincerity. A soft little fist bump to his upper arm with my pink mitten, served with a smile.
Well, he said I made his day. So that made mine. And when I got home I looked up “Leck Trash Removal” and I pressed "call" and I told the nice lady that answered the "residential" extension what a great guy they had on board. I told her he initially thought I was going to complain to him. "People complain all the time, especially about the mechanical arm truck," she sighed. She said I made her day too, and she was going to tell every one, and she guessed it was "Rudy" and her description matched, so it must have been Rudy.
Now peeps. That was so much fun. It was so easy and simple and there is no better feeling in the world than letting someone else know that they made a difference and you noticed.
Keep your eyes open for a Rudy of your own and have some fun. And please always keep your heart open for the solitary peeps that are stuck with the mechanical arm truck.
In general, an open heart is what I recommend whenever we are faced with any version of hardship and solitude. Being kind is powerful. It is like reaching for happiness and having it rest right on your shoulders. I hope you have felt it.
A different road in a different state, but the temperature was 10 degrees.