Friday Family Affirmation

The last day of the work week is here. Set your sights high on that long laundry-list of whatever it is… paperwork, housecleaning that was overlooked during the week, the three defrosted chicken breasts in the fridge that you never had time to bake… today throw out what you don’t need & move on. Literally, let go of the chicken =) … Figuratively…. leave your work at work today. Let your weekend be for you, your family, your kids, your spouse, & that book you bought 6 months ago & haven’t ‘found the time’ to crack open yet, or the bath tub you scrub but can’t remember the last time you laid in…

Not sure how the weekend always slips away while you have the best intentions to fulfill it? Try this:

Set aside 1 hour for each member of your family. Just that person. 1 for your spouse, 1 for you, 1 for each child, etc… & of course mix in some family time but don’t double dip, the one-on-one they will each appreciate & the kids will likely hold onto that little memory for a very long time. I know that my one-o-one time with my mom was very precious since she was a single mom who worked to support us and so was very often busy.

If one child comes in to interrupt your time with the other, simply say, ‘this is …..’s time, give us (x amount of time, put on a movie/go play outside) & I’ll come find you in a little while.’ By saying you will come get them this should help them get the idea that until you come they’ll play on their own, instead of them continuing to check in, ‘is it my turn yet?’ This is how I help my little girl stay in bed through the night ‘mommy will wake you up in the morning.’ So she knows unless she has to go potty, if mommy hasn’t woken her up yet (aka if it’s 4am & she’s waking up for 20 seconds.. it’s not time to start her day).

Preschool Lesson: Live in the Day

Today when i went to pick my daughter up from preschool……

I heard a little boy’s voice, “Why?” As the boy rounded the corner I saw that he was holding onto his father’s hand, they walked in step, physically resolute.

“It’s just a check up,” the man said, his blonde hair bobbing as he moved to angle his face down towards his son.

“But why do I have to go?” The boy pressed his father, who retained his repose.

“Even I have to go to check ups, they happen every year.” The mans voice was fatherly to the tee, higher pitched than i image his voice ever being within the office his suite and tie say he just left early from. It was restrained and ideally compassionate as it sought to satisfy the boy’s question.

However, the voice forgot what the mind knew, that no toddler may be satisfied even with the most qualified of rationalization, and the boy continued, “But why?”

“Just because.”

And so the boy’s next few “but why’s” all met the same strained, “just because.”

The inquisitive nature of the boy i think is a testament to his ability, to his thoughtfulness, and to his relationship with his father to trust his responses, to value his authority.

The love and faith of a toddler abounds, yet is forever insatiable, and thank god because that insatiability allows the tolerance of my own three year old of my incessant exchange of ‘I love you,’ and the hugs, because i do, and i feel the quelling of maternal compassion compels me to share this refrain with her throughout our days.

I hope to take a lesson from this scene at her school & also of one of my daughter’s favorite movies, toy story 2 (the one with jessie, as she calls it): Try to enjoy every day of play, every moment of childish wonder and innocent reproach for life and to try not to project on when that will end and when she will grow tall enough and loud enough to dismiss my incessant affections. Hopefully i can remember this when I’m being woken up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night, when down the hall I hear, “Mom… Mommy? Mom!”