Tag Archives: brother and sister

Worded Wednesday: My family went to the 1920s

Over Thanksgiving weekend Roger and I took the kids for  a day in downtown Denver. We started out by throwing a football around at Civic Center Park on a gorgeous and sunny late-morning (Reed’s pick). At Tessa’s urging we then we switched to a volleyball, counting to see how many volleys we could get in a row (the mom may or may not be the weak link in that scenario).

Roger got to pick the restaurant where we had a yummy and healthy lunch, and then it was Mama’s turn to choose a place.

We walked to the new History Colorado Center, paid our admission and spent hours learning about life in Colorado in earlier decades. There were dozens of interactive exhibits, engaging for both kids and adults. Tessa and Reed got to drive a Model T and work in a town’s general store. We rode down a mine shaft and learned how to plant and detonate dynamite. We heard a storyteller recount her summers at Lincoln Hills, “the country’s only western resort accessible to African-Americans.” We tried ski jumping down a mountain (I made it 300 feet once but crashed and burned the second time).

But the funnest (and funniest) part was when we had our pictures taken for a 1920s yearbook in the Colorado plains town of Keota. These silly photos sealed the awesomeness into our day.

My family, if we lived 100 years ago

Did I gain two children? Nope. Reed snapped three photos, each of them wackier than the last. Even if I were in the worst mood in the world, one look at these mementos (especially my second “daughter”) would curl up the sides of my mouth. In fact I’m laughing quite hard as I type this last word!

 

Perfect Moment Monday: We are Young

Most days, as soon as the alarm goes off I pull on yoga pants (and shirt), wake the kids and get them ready for school. About the time they’re pledging their allegiance, I am setting up my laptop in my home office.

But once in awhile, I actually go to work and must begin the day the way I used to: I shower, pick something out of my closet that is on a hanger, and do my hair and makeup. I had one of these days in November, and instead of guiding my children through each step of their prep, I focused on mine.

Would my kids rise to the occasion?

I made sure Tessa and Reed were awake before I stepped into the shower. Would you believe that not once did they storm through the door and complain that one was breathing on the other? Would you believe that after I dried myself off and crept into the hallway to see what was going on in the kitchen, that I saw Tessa rinsing Reed’s cereal bowl and loading it into the dishwasher? That I saw Reed making a lunch for Tessa? That they were collaborating with each other rather than tormenting each other?

I was in shock. And I broke out into a huge smile.

Tessa and Reed had a soundtrack for the morning blaring from one or the other’s iPod, perched in the kitchen docking station an causing them to rock out. At the moment I peered down on them, “We Are Young” by fun. was playing. It’s a song we all love to sing together in the car, but in this scenario it held new meaning.

We are young!
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun!

(Not the get-drunk-til-you-can’t-get-yourself-home meaning that the video portrays.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I saw with my own eyes that I am raising independent, cooperative and compassionate human beings. Who so totally rock.

~~~~~

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
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Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin December 31.

(Cross-posted on BlogHer.)


The lessons of Soul Surfer, as interpreted by my daughter

Tessa, Reed and I are watching Soul Surfer, a DVD that Tessa picked out from the local Redbox with Daddy while Mommy was out of town. They’ve already watched it but we see it again together.

It’s a feel-good movie with heartwarming moments of triumph over adversity and portrayal of family unity and support, and it tackles the question, why do bad things happen to good people?

Bethany Hamilton was a 13 year-old surfer in Hawaii when, in 2003, her left arm was taken by a shark. She not only surfed again, but she surfed competitively and won. She has since become an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome an obstacle, especially children and teens.

The main character is played by AnnaSophia Robb whom, as I’ve said before, bears an uncanny resemblance to Tessa (or vice versa). So Tessa has always identified with this grounded and wholesome actress, who hails from the Denver area.

I keep pointing out, as we watch the film, values that Roger and I have been trying to instill in our children.

  • “I’m impressed by how the entire family is on the same team, supporting each other and not fighting!” I say with particular emphasis.
  • “Look at how Bethany lets nothing stop her! She is going to surf again no matter what. Such determination!” I belabor with many exclamation points.
  • “I notice how she feels sad but doesn’t let the sadness stop her,” I note.
  • “Wow. Bethany doesn’t waste any time feeling sorry for herself, does she? She doesn’t expect people to give her special treatment.”

Just in case Tessa and Reed missed any of that.

The angel choir chimes in my head when Tessa says to me: “Mom, I’m going to be just like Bethany for the next week!”

OMG, this is going to be so fantastic. No more pecking at her brother. No more excuses about schoolwork. Feeling emotions but not letting them rule her. Commitment to her goals.

It’s gonna be a great week.

At bedtime in her room, Tessa moves around oddly as she gets ready for bed, but I can’t quite pinpoint why. She argues with me over various issues: packing for school tomorrow, picking up dirty laundry from her bedroom floor, who gets the last toaster strudel in the morning, and how she really doesn’t want to go to an after-school activity this week.

“Tessa,” I say.

“Whatt!” she says with the sullenness of a full-teenager, which she is not yet.

“What about being like Bethany this week? I thought you were going to try to get along with Reed better and meet your commitments and keep going even if some things are difficult.”

She looks at me as if I’ve got surfboard styrofoam for brains.

“Mommm,” she begins to spell out to me as if I were the child, “What. are. you talking about? I MEANT that I was going to not use my left arm for a week.”

Oh.

My bad.