Friday, December 21, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
--Hearing the "Car Wash" song come on the radio when I am in the car wash!
Monday, November 19, 2012
"I know you are only a child, but I think it's time," I said.
He stared up from his covers sleepily and with a blank look on his face. "I can't tell if you are serious or if you've lost your mind," he said.
I let out a deep laugh and said, "that's what's so great about homeschooling. Sometimes you study math, reading and writing and then sometimes you study Thanksgiving in a hands-on course."
He was scared.
Lately we have been reading a book called "Doing Hard Things -- teenage rebellion against low expectations" by Alex and Brett Harris. In it they talk about how we don't expect much from our kids and therefore they don't give it.
Looking back over history, there are so many examples of kids who did amazing things. Clara Barton at age 14 nursed her father's hired man back to health from small pox. She then went on to care for her entire village during the outbreak. At 17, she was a schoolteacher for 40 children, some her same age. You know her name probably as the founder of the Red Cross.
Then there's the example of David Farragut. David was 12 years old when during the War of 1812, he was given the assignment to bring a ship captured by the USS Essex safely to port.
Really now, I'm not asking my son to heal the sick or captain a ship or anything. But to cook a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner for 8, why not?
It was a funny prospect. But it also got me thinking why don't I ask more of my son? In a backhanded way, am I saying that I don't think he is capable? It reminds me of that great quote by Goethe which says "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
Maybe he won't have to cook the turkey this year. But he can certainly help unload the groceries, chop things and set the table. Children are capable of amazing things, but we as parents have to believe it first.
P.S. For more resources and great articles on Thanksgiving, check out the seasonal guide from Carolina Parent at:
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Maybe I'm in a place where I am feeling less than authentic about things. Not that I'm being fake, I'm only feeling smiley on the outside and not so much on the inside. Lately I had been feeling weary in spirit.
That's why reading the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp has been a little like shaking the snowglobe inside of me sort of experience. I am treasuring the texture of her words, the completely naked style writing of raw truth and emotion. It's wild and I love it.
What is even more fun is the free app that you can download. It is a really fun place to document "your gifts" of wonder in your life. At first I thought it was weird, like one of those sugary gratitude journal sort of things. But the more I started documenting my "gifts" the more I couldn't wait to add more.
The app allows you to take a little picture or add an image and then some text about what your gift is that you are grateful for today. Yesterday my "gift" of the day was vuvuzelas. My son recently won it this weekend at an art festival and hasn't stopped blowing it at random times. It's hilarious. He loves to hear how it sounds when it echoes through our backyard or from the cul-de-sac or even from his window. It's almost like a poke in the shoulder that says "hey! wake up, life is happening!" I can't help but smile every time he does it.
More than anything, it's been a gift to me to be reminded that everything is a gift. Even vuvuzelas.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sandwiches are only fun at picnics.
Not as much fun when they become the bucket you fall into as the “sandwich” generation – caring for your own children while caring for your parents. That’s me.
I’m not sure how I ended up becoming the caregiver for my mom. It became the next obvious thing to do. Sort of like picking up a coat off the floor and hanging it up, my mom coming to live in North Carolina in a senior community felt like the right thing to do.
“You get mom,” said my sister, “I get dad.” We joked together about how each of us had been given one parent to care for, as we constantly compare notes on how to encourage each other. We talk weekly on the latest funny story or how our parents have become like another child to care for while home and hearthing our own family.
On top of the child-rearing issues, I get to learn about things like walker maintenance, Medicare, Social Security, what to do when your teeth fall out and how many doctors you can possibly see in a year.
I hope this doesn’t sound like whining. Being my mom’s “it” girl has been a huge blessing for our family. My son spends time weekly with his grandmother. We cook together and spend lots of time simply doing life. I am fortunate because my mom is fairly healthy, right now. Still, I worry about what is down the road on my sandwich.
For the moment, this sort of sandwich is all I have. I watch my mom teach my son how to make “toast treasures.” Slicing up the bread in tiny thin strips the way she used to do only when I was sick or sad as a child. My son watches in awe, sure that he is witnessing something life changing.
And he is.
PS. To read more about my story as a family caregiver, check out my excerpt in the recently released book “Chicken Soup for the Soul for Family Caregivers.” The book features 101 stories of love, sacrifice and bonding from people of all ages who take care of family members at home or in outside facilities. This book is filled with great practical advice for anyone facing the important task of caring for a loved one in their golden years. Find it on amazon.com or wherever you buy books.