Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Had a discussion with Jonathon today about why he was feeling miserable. He has his mother's tendency to go from the top of the mountain to the bottom of a pit in less than 60 seconds on the emotional roller coaster and at this moment he was near the bottom of the pit.

We talked about how he wasn't having any fun- mostly because other people wanted to play with this things and he didn't want them to and so he was spending so much of his time hoarding, protecting, and fighting about whether things were his or not that he wasn't able to enjoy doing anything.

As usual I found that our subsequent discussion was good advice for young and old alike. In fact, it's amazing how often I get preached to in the conversations I have with my children.

Another side note is that I've been working on drawing out Biblical conclusions from him rather than lecturing them at him and that seems to be helpful in our talks. I wish I did it more often. Remembering is helpful.

Anyway, we finally landed on the possibility that he would be happier if he spent more time helping others be happy and less time hoarding and saving. We discussed wisdom- knowing that it's ok to keep a few nice things from a person that he knows will just destroy it. And we discussed generosity being something voluntary with personal property.

Most things in our house are "owned" by someone. The buck stops with them. We don't have tons of group toys. From time to time we have even assigned things to different kids even if it wasn't all theirs- like the box of generic cars or blocks. This way someone is responsible. But it also means that it's theirs and they can share or not.

I found it interesting that Jonathon honestly said he really didn't feel like sharing very often and that he was waiting until he felt like sharing to do so. That led in to a good talk on emotion versus choice- I can choose to share even if I feel differently. After our discussion I left him to think and later he came to play again.

I didn't really have any more trouble with him fighting today. That was a relief, but more importantly, tonight as he was helping Renna dress for bed and entertaining her with his Playmobil Dragon, he said, "You know Mama, you were right. I do have more fun helping others have a good time."

And that, my friends, makes even the most miserable day immediately glorious! Not that today was miserable- it wasn't, but that was a treasure.

Among other things, today I had some quality time with my brother, Frank. He's up visiting and it's nice to have a good long while to talk about all sorts of stuff. Conversations take a different turn after the first 24-48 hours. Some more casual, some more serious and a nice balance of the two.

Well, it's that time again- the moment when I get to tuck in all my precious energy balls for the night. Better go set them to recharge!

Monday, December 26, 2011

This Mother's Holiday Impressions

I've been moving in slow motion lately it seems. I think I have enough time to accomplish say five items and I barely get through with one. It's not bad though because it's made me rethink what item is most important on my list. Generally spending time with the kids or something food related ends up being at the top.

I'm glad that quality time wins out over other stuff. I won't be sorry I chose that tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow reminds me of yesterday. Christmas. We don't do a huge Christmas- not tons of stuff and parties, but we did do more this year than some we've done. I'm glad it's not any bigger. It means that I get to enjoy it rather than rush through it in a crazed fashion and that is what it's all about for a mom- being able to enjoy others happiness in the moments.

It's exciting to be able to see them connect with the story of the birth of Jesus. It's fun to see them experience giving gifts and the delight and satisfaction on their faces from the chance to do something for others. And the moments when they are getting along and having a good time are precious as well. Give me those things over presents any day! So worth it!

Now on to the week of ending Hanukkah and planning for school to begin again and some more normal activities. I'll be back to balancing all the things that need to "get done" with being sweet and kind and consistent. Oh, and perhaps some exercise thrown in there, too.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning Thoughts.

Christmas is here and I find a thousand thoughts floating through my mind. We are finished with our gift giving- did that yesterday, so no presents in our house this morning. We had planned to go out and deliver meals to others this year, but the people that did it last year didn't get the funding to do that so here we are. The concept was an attempt to help the children consider some one else other than themselves. Apparently that's not possible...haha, no- we just have to figure out something else to do. We have a couple of other ideas up our sleeve- make some cards to mail to some people, give some gifts to other people- I'm not sure that we can get in on community stuff at this late date. We'll see if there is something we can do, but it's probably going to mean doing something in January or something instead.

In the meanwhile, it's lightly snowing. The kids are munching on their breakfast, Brandon is sleeping and it seems to be the beginning of a fairly peaceful morning. That is- as long as peaceful can include snorting noises and giggling and slurping sounds.

I'm sure later today we'll break out the Christmas story and read it again. And probably the story of Hanukkah also. Perhaps the best way to spend the day is with a focus on quality time with the children.