I’ve missed writing and think about it often, wondering what I would write if I chose to write each night I think about writing but don’t actually begin.
I’ve enjoyed the gift of time from not writing and also miss the days of continuity and focusing on what went well each day when I was writing. That yin and yang thing is always present and there are trade offs, aren’t there?
The little thing that caught my attention today was making the kids’ lunches again. I used to make their lunches, then Jeff made their lunches, and then they made their lunches, you know, practicing growing up and being responsible for taking care of themselves. When we had our Japanese exchange student with us earlier this month, I was making breakfasts, lunches and dinners for everyone, including my BIG kids. After Kohei left, I kinda carried on and continued making lunches, gave up breakfasts and still make dinners. I realized I actually love making their lunches and the connection this creates, providing for them this way. I love that it makes them happy and takes a little bit of the burden away from their busy mornings, even if they could do it for themselves. I love when Juliana texts me during the day to say how much she enjoyed what was prepared for her, or shares her gratitude and a moment of thought, connection, love.
I love the little things.
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.
Today I was validated. Over and over again. This is a great feeling, one that we all want, and I am thankful for the experience and this one beautiful life I’ve been given. Thanks mom and dad, for giving me this opportunity to live it up, to love this life and to laugh out loud!!
Today was chaotic and great.
I flowed. I loved. I was present.
I enjoyed my family and friends and work and yoga. It doesn’t get much better than this.
My friend chose to come stay with me last night and left today, and before she left, she surprised me with this gift that I found on my desk after uber came to pick her up and take her to the airport, so that I could be at my kids’ sporting events.
During our short time together, I shared with her that I haven’t been blogging as much lately and that I’ve been sitting with the feeling of accepting this slower pace, and not quite giving it up and not quite sure the direction it would take. I have been blogging daily for 4 years and lately have slowed down and am figuring out what the future holds.
She gave me this gift of a journal and a sticker with my favorite thought, One Love. She gets me. She wants me to continue to write, even if I choose to write privately and she encouraged me to continue my passion and to consider writing children’s stories, based on the parenting practices we shared, and practice every day.
Thank you, Jen, for this gift and for the inspiration and spark and for choosing to come spend time with me!
I love you! One Love…let’s make America great, one moment at a time!! xoxo
I picked up the phone today and called a friend. She didn’t answer and usually I would hang up, but today I left a message and I Am happy that I did.
I told her that I would be near her house this afternoon and would love to drop by and see her, if her schedule was open at all. Lucky for me, she noticed that I called, checked her message and called me back, right as I was getting ready to go out again and we were able to connect.
She invited Jeff and I to her house and we enjoyed an hour or so together, chit chatting and catching up right at dinner time and before her PTA meeting and between our kids’ soccer practice and polo matches. While we were talking, she whipped up fish tacos for her family and insisted that we eat with her and that she had plenty.
I can’t tell you (well, actually I guess I am sharing right now) how cool this moment was. This was living happily ever after right now, and saying yes, and not being too busy, or too tired or too anything (even though we are). We showed up, sat around the table and enjoyed each other’s company in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. I loved this, can you tell?
Thank you Susanne! You made my day.
If you’re thinking of a friend, try calling them. They just might make your day and dinner. xoxo
P.S. Thank you Charlie for inspiring me to write tonight and asking me what made me happy today.
I am holding on to the last few days of summer and being with my babies when I can.
Today we stopped for boba tea drinks and I convinced them to go for a walk in the park with me. We did some geocaching along the way and then they decided to play for a few minutes. I hope they never lose their youthful spirit!
Life is good.
A week from today, the kids will be back in school. Summer is winding down. While I’ve mostly enjoyed the unstructured afternoons, I’m looking forward to a more normal and expected schedule that the school year provides for our family. As I practice living in the moment and being thankful for what is, here are three events that filled me with joy today.
I enjoyed a lunch break with Jeff and Juliana between our work schedules. We chose to get falafels and schwarma wraps for lunch and it was all delicious. We wondered if my parents might like this food and wanted to share it with them when they come to visit soon.
After work, Jeff and I enjoyed going for a walk and doing a kettle bell workout together.
As we waited for the rice to finish cooking as part of our dinner, Jeff and I sat on our comfy outdoor couch with a drink and listened to the water fountain, while we relaxed and chatted about parenting teens. We are growing up!
What three things brought you joy today?