Now that I think about it 30 years later, it was funny, but it wasn’t at the time. My first son had a hard time accepting the fact that he had to share his home with his little sister. When they were both very young my daughter came running into house screaming and crying. I asked her what was wrong, but she couldn’t speak. I interrogated her brother. He said that he took a board and put it across a log and told his sister to stand on one end. He then climbed on top of the dog house and jumped onto the other end of the board and she went flying. I was furious. I yelled at him and asked why he would do such a thing. He said, “But, you wouldn’t believe how high she went!”
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TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.. « Continue reading »
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Recently, my 7-year-old daughter made a mailbox out of paper and taped it to the outside of her room. I began using this as an opportunity to send her notes of love and encouragement. So, at various times of the day, without her seeing me, I would sneak a note into her mailbox. That night, I put in a note for her to find in the morning. I awoke the next morning with my daughter jumping on my bed saying, “How did you do it Mommy? I got a letter from you in the night!”
Excited, she busied herself in making a paper mailbox for me, taping it to the outside of my room. And the written communication began in earnest. Notes of love continued through the week.
Two days ago, I bought her a small toy while we were out shopping together. We came home and after supper, she quickly disappeared saying, “Don’t come into my room, Mommy.” Knowing that she was working on some little project, I busied myself washing the dishes and cleaning up. Excitedly, my daughter then appeared saying, “There’s a letter in your mailbox!” And as we went to my mailbox together, I could see a rolled up piece of blue paper sticking out.
Unrolling the paper, I read her crayoned message: “Dear Mommy, I love you. Thank you for the toy. But just becuse you got me a toy dose not mane I love you more than I did be for. I could never tell you how much I love you.”
Tears welled up in my eyes as my precious girl flung her arms around me in a big hug.
As I stood there enjoying the embrace of my daughter, I was reminded that our Heavenly Father also receives such joy when we offer our love to Him with the excitement and simplicity of a child.
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What do you allow, as gate-keepers if you will, to put daily into your child’s body? This is fully, 100%, your choice, your responsibility, your failure if you are not actively choosing wisely. As parents, we tend to claim God’s protection over our children, but God never intended for us to blindly follow the world in any way, no, not one aspect of our lives. I am noticing a failure among us to educate, and continue to educate ourselves about anything and everything regarding these children given to us for a short time that we are responsible for nourishing. He intended for us to use discernment, use His teaching, to bring us to an educated understanding of what is best for us. This is not happenstance. This is not a lottery to see if we “get” healthy kids. You play “the” role, not just “a” role, in providing for these children as the Lord has provided for you. « Continue reading »
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First day of school was this week! I am always excited to pick up the kindergarteners after their first day. Not only do I get the honor of experiencing their excitement but I usually see children that went to my school at one time that now are in “big school.” Monday I got a thrill when I saw a kindergartener that had gone to my school from when he was 2 yrs to when he turned 4. He was so excited to see me and with the biggest eyes ever, he said “Mrs. Jami, I thought I would never see you again” and gave me the tightest hug. I teared up as this exchange reminded me as early childhood teachers we are not just preparing them for “big school” we are building relationships and memories that don’t go away when they leave us. Our time with them is their first experience with being in school and my hope is that I am providing wonderful memories for my little friends as well as a love of school that last forever even if they “never see me again.”
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Like coal miners, parents plunge deep into dark and untrammeled spaces, searching for nuggets of goodness and truth along the way. And sometimes, like coalminers, we get lost. We hit a dead end. And the canary chirping happily in it’s swinging cage, goes silent.
This summer, I lost my way as a parent. Between moving and leading a top-to-bottom renovation of our new apartment, between writing grant applications and taking care of legal issues related to my nonprofit, I took a few wrong turns, caught up in the To Do’s and Didn’t Do’s scratched onto my notepad. Thankfully I have not one, but two canaries on my shoulders. When they stopped tweeting, I knew it was time to pause and reevaluate. « Continue reading »
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Tonight I am up late… remembering. I love the power of memory as it intertwines with emotion to form a temporary reality. In quiet solitude, this gift of memory allows me to sit for awhile with my mother who passed away many years ago. It gives me glimpses into moments I will forever cherish and allows me to relive past experiences that define the meanings of my life. Tonight an open window in my mind has taken me back to a very special place where I learned a new meaning to the word “love”… « Continue reading »
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I sat with the sand between my toes last week, watching my kids tumble in a pile across the beach on a lazy vacation day. It was the first time in years that I can remember being able to read my own book while they played amongst themselves, happily. My eyes wandered a lot, to them, and their growing, tumbling, sand-covered bodies, fearlessly conquering the waves of the Atlantic. « Continue reading »
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My mom passed away two months ago. I have not been the same since. Not just because I lost her, but because of what I learned about my two college age sons.
The first thing they each said when I told them of her aggressive cancer diagnosis was, “How soon can I go see her”, halfway across the country. Neither had the time or money and neither gave it a second thought. They spent an entire weekend devoted to creating last memories with her, building a snowman in her front yard as she watched from inside with her oxygen and cane until she couldn’t contain herself anymore and ran out in socks to have a picture taken with them and the now famous snowman. They baked Christmas cookies and threw pieces of dough at each other until she joined in laughing. When they had to say their final good-byes, both were incredibly strong. « Continue reading »
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Things I’ve Learned As A Young Mother
Sound effects are a useful tool in motivating young children to do what you want them to do. Ive learned All body actions can have a coordinating sound effect and that sometimes when your finally around grown up’s the occasional sound effect may come out.
Sponge Bob promotes creepy laughter in small children. « Continue reading »
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