Tags: Baskets, Boys, Children, Easter, Eggs, Holidays, Kids, Nature, Outdoors, Photography
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” — Ray Bradbury
What beautiful stuff do you see around you? What’s your best Easter egg hiding place? And what do you like to find inside those pastel plastic shells?
“S” is for “the beautiful stuff” … See more Ss at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Family, Flower Girl, Fun, Humor, Kids, Photography, Relationships, Ring Bearer, Weddings
To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.
— Ogden Nash
My little ring bearers lost a shoe and forgot their way. My sweet flower girl forgot to sprinkle her petals. And they all went to bed with icing in their hair. The day couldn’t have been more perfect.
What funny things have your children done in family weddings? How do you get buttercream out of taffeta? And why do little boys look so stinking cute in suits??
“R” is for “with this ring” … See more Rs at Jenny’s.
Tags: Batman, Boys, Children, Family, Flags, History, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Travel
“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.” — Lorraine Hansberry
What historical sites (like Fort Sumter in 1, 2, and 4 above) give you pause? Are the clover blooming where you are? And why is it that a Batman shirt makes almost everything better?
“Q” is for all quiet … See more Qs at Jenny’s.
Tags: Boys, Dirt, Fun, Growing Up, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Rocks
“Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it.” — Not Your Average Dictionary
What are your favorite noises? How much dirt do your children acquire daily? And how many rocks have been through your wash cycle?
“N” is for noise … See more Ns at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Feet, Fun, Growing Up, Hands, Kids, Outdoors, Photography, Play, Tattoos
“Play is the highest form of research.” — Albert Einstein
What kind of monkey business does your family enjoy? Does your neighborhood burger joint have cow statues to climb? And how old is too old to get a tattoo??
“M” is for monkey business (and more) … See more Ms at Jenny’s.
Tags: Children, Family, Fun, Holidays, Kids, Love, Perspectives, Photography, Play, Valentine
“Who, being loved, is poor?” — Oscar Wilde
Who makes you feel rich? Are you raising a tree-climber? And do you have the peel-off backs to those foam heart stickers littering your kitchen floor, too??
“L” is for love … See more Ls at Jenny’s.
Tags: Challenges, Children, Difference, Empathy, Growing Up, Kids, Kindness, Motherhood, Parenting, Perspectives
“Isn’t that kid weird, Mom?”
Giggles said it casually, as if commenting on the purple carpet or the way the air smelled like freshly pumped basketballs.
My heart stopped, but we kept walking. Past the dad with the green T-shirt and retro specs. Past the blond-haired little boy with his eye permanently shut and his cheek puffed out. Past the “Pediatric Craniofacial Specialists” sign where they waited, talking quietly, probably about something altogether ordinary like video games or burritos for lunch.
Giggles, Bun, and I walked inside our own pediatric specialist office and checked in. We updated paperwork, fought over the train in the basket of toys, waited, fought, and waited. We talked with the nurse, got new X-rays, talked with the doctor, got lollipops, and checked out. We bundled up. We unbundled for a potty break. We re-bundled, and walked to the elevator.
The boy and his dad weren’t in the hallway anymore, but I could still see them clearly. And us.
The dad, patient and strong; the boy, stooped and a little sad; me, holding coats, hats, crayons, and a grande Starbucks mocha; my boys, galloping like Adidas-clad rhinoceroses down an otherwise quiet hallway.
Quiet except for this, except for us: “Isn’t that kid weird, Mom?”
How many times had they heard that? How many times had it chinked right through the defenses of that sweet little boy? How many times had his dad held him close and wished he could be the one hurting, the one being examined by strangers and doctors alike?
And how many mothers had sat down with their own children and said the things I said a few hours later? About the difference between thinking things and saying them out loud.
About how our words make other people feel.
About imagining ourselves in someone else’s place.
About being kind next time.
About being kind above all.
What would you have done? How do you teach kids the power of their words in this complicated world? The power of empathy?
Tags: Children, Family, Holidays, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Photography, Poetry, Trains
“here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)”
— E. E. Cummings
What do you carry in your heart? Are you an E. E. Cummings fan? And is my little hobo adorable or what?
“H” is for heart and holiday ornaments and hobo. See more H at Jenny’s.
Tags: Birthday, Boys, Children, Curiosity, Growing Up, Motherhood, Poop, Relationships, Siblings
My Giggles is 5 this week.
He’s almost a kindergartner. With feet the size of a fourth-grader. And a cowlick that makes him taller than his sister.
He loves poop. Rather, he loves to talk about poop. When he forgets to listen, it’s because there was too much poop in his ears. When Lollipop irritates him, he threatens to dump poop in her room. When he and Bun are playing trains, one of the freight cars is more often than not hauling poop. (Thankfully, it’s the imaginary kind.)
He is strangely fascinated with batteries. (“How do they work? Why do they have chemicals? What kind of chemicals? Why can’t you see the chemicals? Why do they die? What do they get turned into when you recycle them? Why are they different sizes? Can I sleep with one under my pillow?”)
He will not touch broccoli. Or sweet potatoes. Or peas. Or green beans. Or spinach. Or smoothies. He will devour bananas. And cherry yogurt. And kolaches. And Tic Tacs.
He is in love with my blue electric pencil sharpener.
He helps his little brother put on his shoes. And feed the cat. And build a Lego tower. And get a bowl Cheerios. And sneak Tootsie Rolls.
He has an uncanny knack for finding money wherever he goes. In the dirt at the Y. On the curb at Schlotzsky’s. Under the Great Value soda machine at Wal-Mart.
He does not like me to clean his peanut-butter face with the time-tested spit-wash method.
He keeps his treasures in the tiny drawer next to his socks. Bits of leaves. Acorn tops. Starbucks sleeves. Bouncy balls. An empty toothpaste box. Chuck E. Cheese coins. A zebra magnet. A pizza-restaurant flyer. Two orange slinkies.
His entire day is an adventure just waiting to be narrated. Which he does. With plenty of “That was awesome!” thrown in.
He’s so big, and so little. When he heaves himself onto the pool ledge at swim lessons, I’m absolutely certain his lanky arms won’t support him. They bend and sway like a fawn teetering in the clover.
But those arms always hold. Even with that brick-red train track of a scar, they hold.
And because they hold, I do.
What’s in your child’s treasure drawer? Are vegetables his sworn enemy? Is there too much poop in your ears today??
Tags: Children, Fall, Family, Farm, Hay, Indian Summer, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Play
“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” — Vincent van Gogh
We celebrated the end of a week of sore throats on Sunday by emptying our pockets of cough-drop wrappers and hanging up our scarves. We headed for a farm about an hour outside of town and spent the afternoon wandering in a corn maze, playing in the sand, climbing hay bales, hula-hooping, and swinging from live oaks. The hours squinting, sweating, and laughing in the Indian-summer sun reminded me why I love this place I’ve called home for a decade. In other ways, I felt a keen yearning for Romania, with its billowing fields and village cottages surrounded by hand-baled haystacks. At the end, I was grateful for a few simple hours with my family, no matter where our dot blinked on the GPS.
Is it sun or scarves where you are? Have you ever navigated a corn maze? And how long can you hula-hoop?
See more yellow at Beth’s.