This was the highlight of my day. My kids came out for a hike with me, even though some thought this was a horrible idea. I wanted us to get out for some fresh air, to move our bodies and to share conversation along the way, away from other distractions. There was some complaining and whining at the beginning and I kept focused on being grateful and patient, thankful that we were all together enjoying the crisp, fresh air and muddy puddles. I loved watching them taking pictures, bird watching and deer and squirrel watching too. They laughed and danced and ran up and down the hills, teasing each other too.
This was a great way to end our Thanksgiving holiday break. I am thankful for my family, near and far, for traveling and being together sharing meals and conversation and chaos, and for being back home again.
I hope you all enjoyed your holiday, making memories and celebrating with those you love and like!
The kids didn’t have water polo or soccer practice on this particular day. I had to run an errand at the mall and they decided they wanted to come with me. Both wanted to come along. I kinda wanted to go by myself. One wanted to come with just me and to leave the other behind. The other one insisted their homework was complete and that they really wanted to come along and to spend some time together. How could I resist? But there was going to be some conflict. Isn’t there always a little conflict?
I decided to invite both to join me for some family practice time. We had to practice getting along and working together and figuring out how to get along without bugging each other. Isn’t that what families are about?
They got in the car and I set the agenda, letting my captive audience know what to expect and requesting that they silence their electronic devices. Can you imagine no Snapchat? Tonight we were having a family practice night, instead of soccer practice or polo practice. Tonight we were going to practice listening and cooperating and being patient and kind. Boy, did we practice. And as you know, with practice, there is a lot of repetition.
We practiced several drills, such as choosing our words, taking turns, ignoring the endless snaps and texts that vied for our attention. We practiced patience and listening and not requesting everything we saw. We practiced waiting and not competing with each other. We practiced delaying gratification and not always getting what we want when we want it. We practiced not rolling our eyes and saying, “Gosh” all the time. We practiced holding hands, going with the flow, and putting our arms around each other. And we practiced breaking bread together.
All in all it was a good night, mixed with a little resistance along the way. I am thankful that my not so little ones wanted to join me on this night for some family togetherness and practicing all that is good.
After all, aren’t we all just practicing in this dress rehearsal called life?
What are you practicing with your family? I wish you success, peace and love!
Have a good week! xoxo
It’s been a week, no months, of pushing and watching and questioning and wondering and flexing and letting go and accepting what is to be and flowing with it.
On Thursday, it began. Christian, my high school senior, came home early from school for our lunch date, but I had a work meeting. He went and picked up lunch for us and while I was working, he decided he was going to finally work on his college applications. I’ve been pushing and questioning and wondering and exploring and asking him to own this process since the beginning of summer. He decided that he wanted to go to community college and didn’t want to go through the college app process, and that he was happy with staying local. I accept my kids’ choices and yet I always push them to the edge and maybe over their comfort zone and I question their motivation and intention. I am okay with their decisions and I want to be sure they think through the costs and benefits and risks, every step they take. I ask the hard questions, set up challenges, and then give them space to own their decisions and the path they choose to take.
Well, on Thursday he decided he was going to apply to the University of Iowa and he decided he was going to fill out the application that day. While I was wrapping up work, he requested that I push my computer aside so that I could look over his online application on his laptop. Let me just say I was surprised and curious and supportive and perplexed and thankful and scared. I helped validate the form and gave my credit card number to pay for the application fee, all while wondering where did this come from? I was proud that he (finally) decided to begin the process before the almost deadline. We clicked send and then I wondered, “what if?”
Flash forward to today, when I was busy working again to put money away for the kids’ college fund, when I received a text:
And just like that, our thoughts have shifted and the opportunity is in front of us and we are thankful and curious and shocked and excited for the possibilities. Who knows what will come next, but for now I am thankful for the journey and know that whatever will be will be…and I am proud of Christian and wish him well as he navigates this next stage. Congratulations!! Be still my heart.