I have to share, because I know you--as a writer, or reader, or both--will appreciate it.
This is my second-grade daughter, called downstairs for dinner but unable to put down her book. She wouldn't even look up for the picture:
Please note, she's AT THE END. As we all know, this is an impossible place to stop reading, especially if the book is delicious. And, as it turns out, this book is delicious. She's reading one of my childhood favorites, Mandy, by Julie Andrews. (A little girl's perfect book.)
You have no idea how much much this picture touches my heart. To have my kids reading... and LOVING books ... it's ... it's .... Well, I'm at a loss for words. Is that legal, being a writer and all? (Especially when I exclaim to my husband on a regular basis "WORDS ARE MY THING!") At any rate, I'll leave it at that for now.
Hope you're all having a fantastic Monday!
So, confession time.
I had to call my husband today and apologize.
All too often, when I’m folding laundry, or loading the dishes into the washer, or planning yet another healthy meal (see my attitude revealing itself already), I go into my “someday” mode. And it’s not fair to my husband or my children, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, myself.
My “someday” mode is this:
“Won’t it be nice when someday, we have someone here, folding the laundry for me? And cooking the meals? And cleaning up all these dirty dishes? Then I’ll be able write, and travel for public speaking, and do what I'm really jazzed about all the time, instead of being bothered with day-to-day stuff like this.”
Happy Mother's Day yesterday to all my SuperMoms out there. I love each and every one of you.
So. Let's get nitty gritty. We just had a NATIONAL HOLIDAY for Pete’s sake. We celebrated ourselves. And yet, still, all day in the back of my head, I had this little whisper of a voice telling me that we moms are missing something. This was the whisper:
YOU’RE NOT LIKE ANY OTHER MOM. AND YOU’RE AMAZING. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU, JUST AS YOU ARE, NOT YOU AS ANYONE ELSE.
I had to learn this for myself because I had an amazing Mom. She sewed, she crafted, she quilted, she 4-H’d us. She drove us to sports, youth group, singing competitions, debate. She cooked, she cleaned, and, most importantly, (and what I absolutely love and cherish most about my mom) she raised her five kids with the FREEDOM to be exactly who we EACH were created to be. She was the most kind, amazing, empowering woman. I miss her with my whole heart, and it’s only been thirteen months.
BUT. (And it’s a big BUT.)
Ahem… I have a HUGE, HUGE confession to make…
I'm not delusional enough to think that if we follow the advice below, my husband and I will automatically raise our children into Olympic champions.
But, I think it’s interesting. There seems to be similar overriding beliefs in the mindsets of all great Olympic athletes. Also interesting: many Olympic athletes directly attribute their extreme success to the support, guidance, and insight from one or both of their parents.
Could it be, perhaps, that in order to succeed at the upper echelons of competition, there are specific thought patterns that must be present in the mind of the competitor? Could it be that these specific thought patterns can be created and influenced--at least in part--by the parents? Whether done consciously or unconsciously? That perhaps these thought patterns apply to high levels of success in any field or endeavor?
My husband and I would say, resoundingly, yes.
This Monday, I wanted to share with you a list of items I used to review nearly daily as a reminder of the type of family environment my children deserve to have, and how, as a parent, I can provide that for them. This works well for grandparents, too.
(The following is an excerpt from a Montessori book entitled “Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful.”)
All children deserve:
* A slow-paced lifestyle with long hours of sleep on a regular schedule, a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and a generous amount of time in nature.
* Someone to behold the child’s face with joy, hold her, hug her, and treasure her for herself alone.
* Someone to read chapter books aloud for twenty to thirty minutes every day, at a level three years beyond the child’s reading level.
* Someone to recite poetry every day, a new poem each week.
* Someone to tell delightful stories of the child’s own life.
* Freedom from being dragged around on errands.
In one of my all-time favorite personal growth and development books, Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy, he discusses seven ingredients for success. The third is loving relationships.
From the book: “[Loving relationships] are relationships with the people you love and care about, and the people who love and care about you. They are the real measure of how well you are doing as a human being. Most of your happiness and unhappiness in life comes from your relationships with others, and it is your relationships with others that make you truly human.”
Sigh of satisfaction. Every time I read that, I’m struck by the truth of those words. He is so right.
Okay, so I just heard something very interesting about anger and the way humans expel it. Supposedly, according to scientific research, we have four main physical routes of expelling anger from our bodies, and they are through the hands, feet, teeth, and throat. That translates to hitting, kicking, chewing, and screaming as modes for releasing pent up anger-energy.
If you’ve had an extremely stressful day, have you ever felt like ordering a steak so you could chew and chew and chew on it? Or perhaps you felt like hitting fifty golf balls at the driving range? Or like picking up a tennis racket and slamming balls as hard as you could for a while? Maybe you kicked a soccer ball. Maybe you ate more food than normal. Maybe you just wanted to scream. Maybe you actually did scream. The point is, these are all very natural ways of expelling unwanted (sometimes even unrealized) stress, anger, or agitation.
Anger is not, obviously, an emotion we want to keep in our bodies. And it’s highly recommended we find positive routes to get rid of it, rather than blowing up at our families, coworkers, friends, or perhaps perfect strangers at the post office.
Many people are unable to use strong smelling candles, air freshners, gels, or other “good-smelling” stuff due to sensitivities from the chemicals contained within. Whether you do or don’t deal with this problem, I have a wonderful alternative for you to keep your home smelling amazing: essential oils.
Just like things get into your body through your skin, things get into your body through your nose. The great thing about pure essential oils is: 1) They’re completely natural, 2) They can offer you health benefits like: increase resistance to infection, calm you down, increase energy, help you rest better, and a host of other things, depending on the specific oil you use.
Here are some different purposes for a few of the more widely-recognized essential oils:
“Why aren’t you listening to me?!! You don’t understand what I am saying!”
I didn’t think I’d hear these words until I had a teenager but one day, they slipped from the lips of my four-year-old daughter.
We had tucked Joely into bed for the night. The light went out. The covers went up to her chin. Prayers were said. And then, Joely started telling me she was hungry. She wanted to go eat.
I said, “No.” We had dinner less than two hours before. She persisted. She was also very tired and whiny. The compassionate-mom side of me rationalized that maybe, indeed, she was hungry. The objective-mom side of me said that even if she was hungry, she would survive until tomorrow. Ultimately, neither argument led me to my decision. (Which was: No snack, go to sleep.)
I made the decision because of two simple little letters I had spoken right at the very beginning of our conversation. “N-O.”
The following is a very important list that you might want to print off and keep. Below you will find the fruits and vegetables that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides and the least heavily sprayed. If your organic selection is limited, or if you’re simply wanting to pick the best options amongst non-organic produce, this list will be very helpful.
Remember, eating any fruits and vegetables—organic or not—is better than eating none at all, so keep that in mind as you shop.
Also note, the two crops at bottom left—green beans and leafy greens like kale and collard greens—didn’t fall under parameters to get them on the Dirty Dozen™ but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides. These insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade, but they are not banned and still show up on some food crops.