February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

My 6 year old is playing with his stuffies on the floor, offering a snack to the homeless one and speaking emphatically to the others about helping people who need help.

Flash back a few hours, when I received a BBM from a friend that she saw a wolf in the countryside near our home, compassionately making me aware of the potential danger it might pose.

As I sit down with my tea to begin my Facebook review for the morning, I see a post from another friend about how How Wolves Save Rivers. Having recently received a BBM on wolves in my neighborhood, I click on it. Unveiled to me, is the most beautiful impact the introduction of wolves has had on Yellowstone National Park.  This video was done by a YouTube channel called Sustainable Man.

I enjoyed the video, so I click on some of the others they have created and posted. As I am watching the video  Reimagining Investment for the Whole Human, also by Sustainable Man, my 6 year old son wanders up and is watching the screen, listening to the words. He asks me why I watch videos that are boring. Realizing he doesn’t understand many of the words that are being used, I begin to translate into a 6-year-old dialect.

I explain that there is a portion of the world’s people that have a lot (a lot of money, a lot of toys, a lot of food, a lot of clothes) and there is another portion of the world that doesn’t (doesn’t eat enough, isn’t clothed, has no money, no toys). He responds to all of this with his observation that the “donation” box I put in our hallway for my children to contribute to as they are cleaning their rooms, is almost empty still.

Marveling at the connection he has just made I affirm the link, suggesting “perhaps we should change that?”. Without comment he leaves my side to return to his game, and I continue watching the video. A few minutes later he draws my attention to him putting two toys in the donation box. I share my gratitude with him for his action and we both return to what we are doing, me, watching these wonderful messages suggesting we take action for the betterment of all people, and he to his toys. And that’s when I realize it.

My 6 year old is playing with his stuffies on the floor, offering a snack to the homeless one and speaking emphatically to the others about helping people who need help. 


Finding Funny

November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Ever laughed so hard you cried? Have you done it recently?

For me, it had been too long.

Oh, I’ve had some good chuckles recently, don’t get me wrong. Discovering once I was already out jogging that I had put my pants on inside out caused me to snigger. Listening to my four year old explain: “I was just tickling them!” when I found him with his hand in the Oreo cookie bag, caused me to chortle. Listening to my three year old niece respond to her first chocolate-covered almond experience with “Hey, these chocolates are good; I even like the pits!” sure made me giggle. Looking up words for “chuckle” in the thesaurus this morning set me a tittering <wink> .

But what I mean is when you’ve had a full out belly-originating, eyes-tearing, can’t-breath kind of laughter. One where you have to cover your face because it has become so involuntarily contorted with laughter. Once you’ve recovered, you catch your breath with a big smile on your face, followed by the residual “aaahhh, that was funny” as you finally exhale normally, and you realize how good that felt!

A peaceful, relaxed, refreshing kind of good. Those are the moments that for years in the future you could be anywhere, anytime and if you think of that moment, it will make you laugh out loud. Not LOL. But Laugh. Out. Loud.

I had one of those moments this morning. It was terrific. It was refreshing. It left me relaxed, and feeling peaceful. And grateful. Both for the person who provided the laugh, and for the moment of laughter that will stick with me for years to come. And as I tried to describe it to someone else, I started laughing so hard I couldn’t even get the words out. I was laughing so hard just re-telling the moment that the person I was sharing it with started laughing just watching me. That, is funny.

So go find some funny. It’s therapeutic. And when you’ve recovered from that belly-originating, eyes-tearing, can’t-breath kind of laughter, share it. With me, preferably, but anyone will do 🙂

The Purpose of a Shriek

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Long ago and far away, when I was what they now refer to as a “tween”, I used to love snuggling up on the couch with a bag of potato chips and my big-sister to watch the latest horror-movie. We’d watch in anticipation as the movie built up to that terror-filled point when the heroine  first encounters the requisite maniac of the movie and lets rip that shoulder-raising, eye squinting shriek.

Turns out all that build up is completely unnecessary, as demonstrated so artfully by my favourite toddler.  In my toddler’s world, a shriek is a perfectly appropriate way to make her family members (whether they are in the same room as her or elsewhere in the house) aware that she is “concerned” about something.  Sometimes it is because her brother is now playing with a toy that she had played with hours ago but is still claiming rights to, other times it is because she sees everyone else around her doing something interesting and in the absence of a fully developed skill set of her own, she contributes her well-honed ear-piercing shriek of joy (causing everyone in the room to stop what they are doing and look her. Mission accomplished).

Other times are more warranted, for example, she often uses her “stop-folding-the-laundry-and-get-me-out-of-this-freakin’-high-chair!” shriek (although I can think of less migraine-inducing alternatives to this request). One can hardly blame her for the “I-was-playing-contently-and-my-big-sister-has-chosen-to-antagonize-me” shriek (often accentuated by two clenched fists and a shudder of anger), or for her “Daddy’s-coming-home-from-work-and-I-want-to be-the first-one-he hugs” shriek.  This one is almost always quickly followed my Mom’s conveyance to Daddy that she must “tag out” for a period of time to reverse the shriek-induced headache she’s been nursing all day, and say a small prayer that this toddler phase passes quickly.

Accidental Home-schooling…

October 20, 2010 § 4 Comments

I have always told myself that there are several things that my children will eventually learn, or be exposed to someday that, as a parent, I should brace myself for. Naively I assured myself that children pick these things up at school.  Sadly, that isn’t quite accurate. For example, my son did not learn how to fart on cue, and follow it with “and that’s what I think about that!” from his teacher. That home-school credit definitely goes to his father.

 Turns out kids are learning just as many “helpful” and “convenient” things at home as they are at school:

Side note: The rules of family-themed blogging are clear, so I have chosen to replace the all-too-familiar adult “terms” below with a more kid-friendly substitute. See if you can keep up.

  • My 3 year old niece is in the backseat of the car while her parents are driving and very nonchalantly and without any particular emphasis, states “I’m frogging hungry.”
  • Shortly afterwards, when the same precocious little gem is asking for a cookie from her nanny and her request is greeted with an undesired response, she exclaims, fists clenched, “this is bullsugar!”
  • My daughter is using the toilet as I’m blow-drying my hair and asks me in a curious tone: “the magazines aren’t for pee, right Mommy, just poo?”
  • Playing the role of single mother to four kids all week while my husband travels, I am too exhausted to cook dinner so I say in my most excited and persuasive voice “Who wants to go to McDonalds?!”  My two year old responds, “no Mommy, that’s junkfood!”. Backfire.
  • This last one requires some background:  My (just) three year old son has recently developed a fascination with the computer game he watches his older brother and beloved uncle play together entitled “Plants and Zombies”. It includes funny little cartoon zombies doing Michael Jackson moves and caring for plants in various ways as far as I can tell.  He begs to sit in a kitchen chair and watch them play just for the chance to watch a zombie moon walk across the screen.  Fast forward to last night as I’m tucking my little angel into bed and he sweetly states that he is scared to sleep alone. In my most loving and motherly tone I respond with, “oh darling, you just need to fill your head with happy thoughts of your favourite things and before you know it, you’re off to sleep”. His response?  “Okay, Mommy. I will think of zombies. Good night.”

 One of the most deflating aspects of parenthood can be when you see your child demonstrate atrocious behaviour that you recognize all-too-well as your own. But you know what?  Frog-it.  At least we can have a laugh sharing these stories with fellow parents as we wallow in our less-than-perfect example-setting.  Cheers.

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