Browsing Category "parenting"
6 May
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Confidence Built Through Music

Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad.

Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer months.

I struggled not to blubber through his entire performance. He’s the one of our four children I worry about the most. It’s been that way from the beginning, 10 short years ago. As a baby he was a poor eater and struggled to thrive those early weeks. He despised sleep for the first 13 months of life. His personality is nothing like mine. He’s more like his father. They’re both quiet, reserved, and non-emotional. I struggle to connect with him.

He’s always been creative and mathematically driven. Building things and art are his passion. They both come easy for him. Confidence, however, in his abilities has always been somewhat lacking. In the fall, he wanted to take recorder lessons because of some issues in his school music class. We found a teacher willing to give it a try. That passion for the recorder, yes he is passionate about an instrument most parents cringe at, morphed into a desire to play the flute.

boy holding a flute

The same teacher made trying a flute a reality. J looked at flute books and videos and taught himself to play over the last few months. He joined the band, and the encouragement he received from that group and his teachers has helped his confidence soar. He agreed to play solo at seven different schools. Yes he was nervous, but that child, who doesn’t enjoy making eye contact or long conversations, knew he could play that flute. He was confident and brave. I thought my heart would burst the first school I watched him play that solo.

Having people come alongside us and help encourage our kids brings me to tears. It’s one thing to ask people to help cart children from place to place to help meet a physical need. It’s another thing altogether for people to join you in helping raise your children showing genuine love and kindness toward them.

We have friends who watch athletic events for our kids when they could be doing their own thing. Someone just delivered something for our oldest today because she knew he’d love it. We have some teachers and staff at school who know what to say and how to say it to my kids and me. There have been coaches who didn’t want just good athletes but wanted morally upstanding young men. J has found the thing that speaks to him in music. It unlocked his ability to feel confident, and I’ve watched it affect other areas. He has people in his life that went beyond what was necessary to help grow our son.

I remind our kids often to never underestimate the power of showing up. You might be exactly what someone needs even if you don’t realize it.

 


 
There’s a What Today?
By     |    May 3, 2015
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There’s a What Today?

I know better than to be cocky about this parenting thing. Yesterday I rocked motherhood. Today I managed to avoid a motherhood disaster. Our oldest had a track meet 90 minutes from home yesterday. Friday night he and I engaged in a passive/aggressive argument about whether or not the family should make the trek to the meet for the morning and come back to town for other obligations that afternoon.  I knew he wanted us to come. I also knew... [Read More]

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Time Away from Parenting
By     |    Apr 20, 2015
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Time Away from Parenting

A date night for my husband and I consists of eating takeout in the living room while we watch a movie after putting kids to bed. We rarely spend time together without one or more of our children. I enjoy the kids, most of the time. We do have a tween who tests my annoyance levels (on purpose). Still, they’re good people. The kids are at ages where we can all go do just about everything I want to do... [Read More]

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Our Last First Lost Tooth
By     |    Mar 25, 2015
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Our Last First Lost Tooth

Last week I noticed our five-year-old’s bottom teeth looked crooked. I assumed molars were making an appearance and crowding the front teeth. A few days ago, she asked me to touch one of her bottom teeth. What I thought was a crooked and firmly planted tooth was actually a wibbly, wobbly tooth trying to vacate its spot. She was excited. I was appalled. How dare our baby girl loose a tooth? While something exciting was happening in her world, a... [Read More]

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St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Mischief
By     |    Mar 17, 2015
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St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Mischief

I’m a sucker for fairy tales, unicorns and magic. The wave of a wand, pixie dust and true love’s kiss were the root of my dreams as a little girl. Daily life  can be harsh, unforgiving and difficult to navigate. I try to fill childhood at our house with a little bit of magic and wonder. Our house has hosted a wee mischievous leprechaun for quite a few years. She makes an appearance while we sleep March 16. There’s always... [Read More]

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Case of the Missing Car Keys
By     |    Mar 10, 2015
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Case of the Missing Car Keys

It never fails. If there’s something to schedule, it will probably be on a Tuesday night. I get it. Monday seems too early in the week, and Thursday seems too late. Tuesday carries the bulk of our schedule. Most weeks it feels like we have two Mondays followed by Wednesday. A strategic planning session takes place every Monday before bed at our house to make sure we have every meeting, practice, and game for all six of us on the... [Read More]

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Learning More than Teaching
By     |    Mar 6, 2015
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Learning More than Teaching

I’m certain when our last child moves out of the house, years from now, that I will have learned more from them than what they learned from me. Over the last 12 years, I’ve learned more about myself from mothering than any self-reflection exercises I ever attempted. I have a better handle on my strengths and weaknesses. The parts of my attitudes and habits I don’t necessarily enjoy about myself have been magnified with parenting. I’m quick to anger and... [Read More]

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Parenting with Dr. Seuss
By     |    Mar 2, 2015
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Parenting with Dr. Seuss

I don’t have any childhood memories revolving around Dr. Seuss books. I don’t recall sitting on any laps being read any of his rhyming verse. Dr. Seuss entered my life in high school when I was helping in an elementary school kindergarten class. That class did two things for me: it showed the importance of being read to and learning to read and gave me a great love for children. The roots were planted for my future self who would... [Read More]

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On Being a Person
By     |    Feb 26, 2015
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On Being a Person

Most of my daily conversations are held with our 5-year-old daughter. It’s not really conversing. It’s more her talking and me listening. Children can be both silly and insightful in their observations. We were reading from a book while we waited for our oldest son’s school day to finish up. After certain passages there were discussion questions. The question was: “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?” I assumed her answer would have something to do with sharing... [Read More]

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Meet an Author: Jay Asher
By     |    Feb 9, 2015
Posted in: parenting, reading     |    2 Comments

Meet an Author: Jay Asher

Books are important and talking with authors about their books is a privilege. Authors are like rock stars for me. I had the chance to talk with and listen to author Jay Asher last week. He stopped in my town as part of his 50 States Against Bullying author tour. I was Christmas-morning excited to hear what he had to say. I read his book, 13 Reasons Why, almost three years ago, and still think about the topics he wrote... [Read More]

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Redefining the Term Homemaker
By     |    Feb 5, 2015
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Redefining the Term Homemaker

I bristle at the idea of being labeled homemaker. Visions of 1950s sitcom mothers pop into my head.  I think of me waiting with a cocktail and newspaper for my bread winner to come home. That’s not my reality. I was chatting with friends about how I would define myself as far as I what I do, and homemaker was not on the list. I describe myself a little different depending on the situation. I might start with saying I’m... [Read More]

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Calming Fear in Children
By     |    Feb 2, 2015
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Calming Fear in Children

Our oldest son is not a fan of needles. He’s done more than his fair share of begging and pleading to avoid vaccines, to no avail. There’s always weeping. He was anxious leading up to last Friday for a medical procedure that required both needle and scalpel. His anxiety made me anxious, and both of us weirdly awkward and nervous in the waiting room trying to avoid the elephant sitting between us. We talked earlier in the day about his... [Read More]

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