Monday, December 27, 2010

A trusty list for parents

I've been off track, again ... lost because of lack of time because being a mom has me spinning in confusion and chaos. I'm lost because of trying to be something I am not. I can't hide any of these roles that I play every single day.

It's hard having a writer's heart ... and being a parent. Shit, it's hard being a parent.

I'm reading a great book right now (more on that in another post) that I bought with a Christmas gift certificate from my amazing husband. I needed something real. I needed something honest. I needed something inspirational that only a really good book can provide.

Amazingly, I found just the right book in a short trip into the store. Thus, writing here again.

After just one little chapter of reading the new book, I was in the kitchen, making quiche and listening to Emmy Lou Harris, when I had a parenting epiphany to write a soothing message for myself. And when I was finished, I wondered if I should share it with others.

For those with amazing kids. For those with kids who are not so amazing now and then. For those who write with kids. For those who care for kids. For those who are the most patient -- and the not so patient. For those who now and then want to lose their shizz because their kids are, well, testing them in various ways like kicking and smacking their siblings.

And, this little list of mine was also inspired by this other little list of trust by Momma Zen who became a good friend years ago around the time she wrote her list. I write my list for all the parents traveling this road behind me and in honor of all those who have gone before me. Only we, the parents, know what is best. And yet we know nothing at all. We just have to learn to trust.

A Trusty list for Parents

Trust that they know when they are not hungry.
Trust when they are.
Trust that they will eat just fine some day.
Trust that they might not.
Trust that they will sleep when tired.
Trust that they will rise when they are done sleeping.
Trust when they have had a bad dream.
Trust when the blankets aren’t just so.
Trust that they truly cannot go back to sleep.
Trust that they’ve had enough.
Trust when they haven’t.
Trust when their harsh words mean something more.
Trust when their harsh words are just words.
Trust that they love when they hate.
Trust that they hate when they love.
Trust the process for making up.
Trust that they will make up.
Trust that they can work it out on their own.
Trust them.
Trust their hearts.
Trust their heads.
Trust their nice hands.
Trust their mean words.
Trust their friendship.
Trust their bonds to you.
Trust that they do get it.
Trust that they understand.
Trust that they do not understand.
Trust that this too shall pass.
Trust that this too shall escalate to something else.
Trust that there will always be another phase.
Trust when they say no.
Trust when they say uh-uh.
Trust when they giggle.
Trust when they say they can do it.
Trust when they say they need help.
Trust when yes means no.
Trust when no means yes.
Trust when they say they love you.
Trust when they say they hate you.
Trust when they say nothing at all.
Trust when their faces say everything.
Trust when their faces say nothing.
Trust when times get tough.
Trust that times will get tough.
Trust when times turn wonderful.
Trust that they will be wonderful.
Trust that love is enough.
Trust that love isn’t enough.
Trust your heart.
Trust your Yeses.
Trust your Nos.
Trust yourself.
Trust your kids.
Trust that there will be another day to get it right.

Photo credit: Valeria

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1st means only one thing


Not just any advent calendar. An activity advent. This means that we don't just throw (more) candy into a box and count the day. No, we spend quality time together, usually laughing and doing awe-inspiring things, like wrapping each other up in green crepe paper and pretending we're Christmas trees. This year, we're adding a race to see who can wrap each other up fastest with toilet paper, black buttons and scarves to become snowladies and one snowman.

This year, the list is the best ever because I've done this for the third year and now know the best ones to do.

Granted, I realize that I am ridiculous about this and go way overboard but I look at it as a way to fill the entire month of December with spirit and joy and love. Also, I do two activites a day so that each girl (twins!) gets to pull a card out of the stocking. To see previous years, go here and here.

Here are some of the things we're doing:

1.Make list -- sing carols
2.Look for color red -- dance party
3.A joke -- city light up night
4. Decorate the doors -- visit santa
5. Movie night -- make cookies
6. Paint nails red and green -- make gift tags
7. Play with cookie cutters -- mail cards
8. Hang candy canes -- snowscapes with shaving cream
9. Find the color green -- camp under the tree
10. Drink hot chocolate -- read around the tree
11.Count the red lights -- christmas magic
12.Family tree activity -- make cards for teachers
13. Make homemade gifts -- be an elf for the night
14.Santa's helper/wrap a gift game -- create gift kits
15. Make choc. covered pretzels -- make seating cards
16. Pin the nose on rudolph game --write a Christmas story
17. Make ornaments/wrap gifts -- red and green snack
18. Snowman Race -- Light a candle in memory of dog Prince
19. Put on a christmas play -- eat dessert first
20. Create a winter alter -- jingle bell dance around the tree
21. Winter Solstice celebration -- star gaze
22. wear red and green -- eat breakfast for dinner
22.Jingle bells dance -- make sugar cone trees
23. Hand out gifts to teachers -- star watch
24. set out cookies and milk -- sprinkle magic reindeer food outside