If you know me, you know I don’t really know music. So while the country music band Rascal Flatts has been around for more than a decade, I’m just now coming upon its music. (Thank you Oprah farewell extravaganza.) I love this song performed during part one of Oprah’s farewell tribute.
Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
We welcomed a son into our family on March 30. We are so blessed and thankful for his health and his very being! I see God in this little boy at every turn it seems.
Prior to giving birth to the little guy, I had a conversation with my sister, herself a mom of three, about how I could ever love another child like I do my two-year-old daughter. I just couldn’t comprehend being able to have that much love for another child. She assured me that I would.
As per usual, she was most certainly right. And for the past 13 days, I’ve been thinking about how I could convey this feeling of love for my now two children. It came to me today in the words of a woman by the name of Heather Lende, a stranger to me but someone who shared her story in the May issue of Woman’s Day magazine that arrived in the mail earlier today. The issue is devoted to moms in this, the lead-up to Mother’s Day. At three points while reading through the issue and pumping breast milk into freezer bags, I was brought to tears. Seems the post-pregnancy hormones are still very much circulating through my body (as if I needed more evidence–thank you chronic night sweats).
Ms. Lende is the mother of five, four biological children and one daughter she adopted from Bulgaria 11 years ago. In the article, she talks about how when each of her babies was placed in her arms, she had a similar overwhelming sense of love and responsibility for this new being. She experienced those same feelings when a nine-year-old Bulgarian gypsy became her daughter through the miracle of adoption. Ms. Lende writes, “There is no occupancy limit on a mother’s heart. It expands with each child, whether you gave birth to that child or not–you just add another room.”
I loved it–particularly the “no occupancy limit” bit. Another room has indeed been added to my heart. It’s baby Brendan’s. Love you with all my “no-occupancy-limit” heart little boy. Welcome to our world!
Christmas came a little early this year. It wasn’t wrapped, and there were no tags. But my daughter’s closet is full of winter clothes and beautiful dresses for the spring and summer seasons. Her bookshelf is teeming with new titles, including some bearing the coveted Caldecott seal. All this and Thanksgiving has yet to roll around.
Sure a few corners of these books are frayed or missing a page, and yes, a few outfits are likely a shade lighter than they were when on the rack, but that’s the beauty of hand-me-downs. They already have a story.
And now their next chapter begins…
The starring characters: Baby Blue and Baby Blue #2
Directors: Mom and Dad Blue
Costumes: By my elder sister, Lori, who fell in love with outfits for her own baby girl, experienced timeless memories with her in them and then carefully packed them away for my little girl.
Script work: By another of my elder sisters, MB. I certainly did enjoy sifting through books with you last night as you recounted which ones were your little boy’s favorites so I could flag them for mine (yes, we’re having a boy)!
And now, as I begin to field questions about what Baby Blue wants for Christmas, I am at a loss. She has so much already. If only that were the case for everyone. And so I make mention of a worthy cause that would more likely benefit from some Christmas gift giving–the Lighthouse of Oakland County–another Michigan gem.
Every year this organization provides holiday meals, groceries and meal baskets for needy families. Lighthouse also runs a program whereby individuals can “adopt” a needy family and fulfill its Christmas list. I’m always taken aback when the Christmas list for the family we adopt each year arrives and the eight-year-old wants only socks or underwear and his 10-year-old brother desires only a winter coat. You can bet, we search for the warmest coat we can find!
If you are looking for a worthwhile cause this holiday season, Lighthouse of Oakland County certainly fits the bill.
I’ve been making a mental note of the times I hear someone mention some parenting tip that I particularly like. I have accumulated a few of these mental notes and thought I’d share them here while also encouraging you to share your personal favorite parenting tips. Leave a comment if you’ve got one to share!
On Christmas gift-giving:
My co-worker, Andy, and his wife give their two children three presents each on Christmas Day. No more. No less. His rationale: “If the Magi’s three gifts were good enough for Jesus Christ, three gifts are certainly more than enough for my kids.” I kinda like that train of thought.
On getting your kids to eat their vegetables:
My friend Amanda recommends actively soliciting the help of your little ones ones when doing summer gardening. Her two kids help her plant and then pick the green beans, tomatoes and other produce sprouting in her garden. And as a result, they’re all the more intrigued by (and more likely to eat) the vegetables they pick. I’ve already started this tradition with my toddler. She helped mama pick tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers all summer. And though she isn’t yet eating tomatoes, she is willing to give them a lick. It’s a start, and I’ll take it!
On birthday party gifts…
I recently heard the story of an eight-year-old boy whose parents were going to throw him his last “big” birthday party inviting all the kids in his class. Concerned about the excess of her son receiving 25+ gifts, this boy’s mom encouraged him to instruct his friends to bring a baby item (diapers, formula, etc.) instead of a gift to the party. They would then donate these items to a shelter for children from broken families. With only a little coaxing, he agreed. With tears in his eyes at the sight of the massive pile of baby items accumulated after the party, he said “so many babies need help.” What a great lesson his parents taught him and, by extension, the kids who attended his party!
I see this blog topic becoming a recurring one as I come across more wisdom from my parenting peers. Thanks to Andy, Amanda and Pat for these parenting pearls for us to ponder.
Came across this song and video yesterday and have found myself playing it off and on. I think it’s one worth sharing. Have a great weekend everyone!