Tags: Children, Creativity, Curiosity, Family, Fun, Growing Up, Kids, Perspectives, Photography, Summer
“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
F is “for everything Thy goodness sends.” See more F’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Books, Cats, Children, Kids, Photography, Play, Rain, Summer
“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James
D is for downpour and distraction and delightful. See more D’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Autumn, Children, Fall, Halloween, Kids, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Pumpkins
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot
Are you wedded to autumn like Eliot (and me) or to another season? Have you made your annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? Are your Halloween costumes ready to go??
W is for wheeeeee! and wonderstruck and wedded to autumn. See more W’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Balance, Children, Fun, Growing Up, Life, Motherhood, Perspectives, Photography, Play
“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” — Alexander Woollcott
Are the leaves and acorns falling off the trees where you are? What’s your learning-to-ride-a-bike story? And have you patted a fluffy bunny lately?
T is for truth and training wheels and tenderness. See more T’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Beach, Children, Family, Life, Photography, Sand, Sea, Travel, Vacation
“Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips, and showered salt rain upon us.” — Charles Dickens
When’s the last time you felt that lovely salty rain? Where’s the oddest place you found sand? And what’s the best treasure you brought home?
S is for sea and sand and shells. See more S’s at Jenny’s.
Tags: Boys, Family, Germs, Motherhood, Parenting, Poetry, Sharing, Toys
Haiku Friday: His Fair Share
He won’t share his cars
or french fries or magic seeds
or sometimes his hugs.
He won’t share pennies
or the hole puncher or rocks
or roly polies.
But broccoli and peas
and sneezes and fevers? These
are given freely.
What are your children eager to share? What are you eager to return? And are you in the throes of a summer cold, too?
Tags: Balls, Braids, Children, Family, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Summer, Tires
“If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.” — Barbara Kingsolver
What makes your life sweet? What’s your favorite Barbara Kingsolver book? And what fancy hair trick (à la French braids) can you do?
D is for dreams. See more Ds at Jenny’s.
Tags: Boredom, Bugs, Children, Growing Up, Heat, Motherhood, Play, Summer, Sun, Vacation
Three kids. One mom. One house. One week. Only 79 days of summer vacation to go. But who’s counting? (Me, me, me!)
Here’s a recap of our first week of vacation:
Trips to Target: 1
Scoops of ice cream: 13
Trips to splash park: 1
Goose eggs acquired at splash park: 1
Number of times swimsuits laundered: 5
Water-bottle refills: Oh, who can remember?
Containers of yogurt consumed: 19
Items lost: 1 dress, 1 hat, 1 stuffed bunny, 1 temporary tattoo
Items found: 1 jacket, 1 flag pin, 7 bottle caps
Books checked out from library: 15
Episodes of Curious George watched: I plead the 5th.
Lunches at Daddy’s office: 1
Tantrums while lunching at Daddy’s office: 4
Number of homemade muffins delivered to the fire station down the street: 23
Firehouse tours: 1
Ice-cream factory tours: 1
M&Ms smashed into ice-cream-factory floor: 7
Scraped knees: 5
Band-aids applied: 3
Summer reading logs in progress: 4
Tubes of sunscreen used: 1 1/2
Roly polies collected: 9
What’s your summer been like so far? Are the heat and the boredom crushing you, too? And how many roly polies are living in a jar on your coffee table?
C is for summer crush. See more Cs at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Clutter, Collecting, Collections, Curiosity, Kids, Motherhood, Parenting, Trash, Treasure
We collect things. (And by “we,” I mean everyone in my house under age 6.)
It borders on obsession. (And by “obsession,” I mean, well, obsession.)
Rocks. Sticks. Seeds. Acorns. Leaves. Pamphlets from the doctor’s office. Bits of ribbon. Bits of bark. Paper scraps. Glue-sticks lids. Old keys. Lollipop wrappers. Junk mail. Junk-mail envelopes. Broken pencils. Barbie hairbrushes. Pony hairbrushes. Full Tic Tac boxes. Empty Tic Tac boxes. Full Tic Tac boxes that mysteriously become empty Tic Tac boxes. Bouncy balls. Straws. Take-out menus. Subscription cards from inside magazines. Flower petals. Yogurt lids (washed, of course … okay, mostly washed). Found coins. Business cards. Buttons. Toilet-paper rolls. Little circles from inside the hole punch.
The kiddos collect by day. And I discard by night.
With secrecy, stealth, nonchalance, and not a single ounce of Mommy guilt. Because, otherwise, I would be overrun by detritus, miscellany, and things that decay.
Occasionally, my ever-zealous Giggles will find one of his treasures that I thought I had tucked out of sight in the recycle bin — the cellophane address window from the weed service advertisement, for example.
“Mooooooooooooooooom! I was saaaaaaaaaaaaaving this. It’s important! Who. Threw. It. Away??” His words flick through the air like darts.
I do what any self-respecting mother who values clutter-free space and aims to minimize the time she spends vacuuming each day. I lie.
“I have no idea, sweetheart.”
And after he’s in bed, I sneak in and tuck his animal blankie up around his chin. I put his favorite stuffed mouse on his pillow next to him. I brush the soft blond tendrils from his forehead.
And with one deft, nearly invisible swipe, I take his treasure from wherever he’s re-hidden it. And I throw it away. Again.
Because there’s more treasure waiting to be discovered tomorrow. And the next day … and the next day … and the next day …
Do you expect to see your kids on Hoarders one day? How do you handle “treasure”? And what did you collect as a child?
Z is for my zealous hoarders. See more Zs at Jenny’s on Thursday.
Tags: Birthday, Boys, Children, Life, Milestones, Motherhood, Parenting, Smiles, Spain, Spanish
In Europe last summer, an orange crayon melted in our rental car. We may or may not have gotten a parking ticket in Madrid. And our youngest made many a Spanish woman weak in the knees.
With his blond curls. His chocolate eyes. His dimples.
Que guapo, el guapo bebé! we heard. Over and over. Everywhere we went. In metro stations, souvenir shops, park benches, hotel lobbies, Burger Kings with free wi-fi, museums, and mercados. Guapo! Guapo! Guapo!
We joked that we were lucky he was only 2 — at least all the attention wouldn’t go to his head.
Today mi Guapo is three. He’s more worldy. He knows being cute can get him things, like extra lollipops and stickers and cookie samples. He pitches fits. He throws important things in the trash. He hordes rocks. He sits on the dog.
But he’s still my handsome baby.
The one whose best friend is his stuffed giraffe. The one who is my alarm clock, leaning over his crib rails and yelling, “Mom? Mooooom? Moooooooooom?” until I free him. The one who adores poot nacks.
Last summer, when the mosquitoes gobbled up his sweetness and turned him polka-dotted, I had to explain to everyone: “It’s not chicken pox. Or measles. Really, he’s not contagious. They are just mosquito bites.” Just. He was so miserable, and he didn’t know how to make it better. I started scratching the bites for him, gently, barely more than a tickle, just enough to soothe.
Now, it’s our thing. He’ll crawl in my lap and point to an imaginary spot on his arm. “Keeto bite here, Mom. Will you scratch it for me, will you?”
And I do. And we sit there. Quiet, together, close. Him, eyes and little feet drooping. Me, wishing every trouble could be fixed so easily. But I know that’s not my job. I’m to teach him to scratch his own bites, fight his own fights, mend his own heart.
And, through it all, to smile that handsome, contagious, soulful, full-bodied, jelly-faced smile. Just like that, mi Guapo, just like that.
What kind of smile does your kiddo have? What kind of accidental rituals do you share? And have you ever had to convince people your child does not, in fact, have a communicable disease?
“Y” is for youngest … See more Ys at Jenny’s.