Thursday, February 26, 2015

Where Did I Come From?

My Granny was born 1916. She was born into a large family who lived in a tiny house in the middle of the Ozarks. They were a farm family, and like so many others, worked hard for what they had. The results of all that hard work included food for their table, clean clothes to wear, a strong work ethic, a lot of love for one another, and enough stories to fill a few books.
Oh, the stories Granny could tell; stories about snake bites, run-away wagons, community gatherings in their one-room school house, losing all their money when the banks fell 1929, putting a fire out on the roof…when she was several months pregnant, and on and on she could go.
Those stories are forever ingrained in my mind, as well as in the minds of my children. And why shouldn’t they be? They’re great stories. But even more than that, these stories are our history. They tell us who we came from; the character, integrity, strength and faith of the people responsible for our existence.

Today’s society is OBSESSED with the newest and latest, the fastest and fanciest and the best of the best. Even our education system is kicking history and grammar to the curb in an effort to try to mold an entire generation of students into scientists and engineers who can come up with the next best everything. As parents, you need to make sure you don’t allow this to happen to your children.
Give them their history. Teach your children who and where they came from. Share your family’s traditions and culture with them and teach them to embrace it and take ownership of it. Encourage and foster relationships between your children and their grandparents, aunts and uncles and even great aunts and uncles and cousins.  But that’s not all…

Everyone loves a good story—especially one in which they can association with. So gather stories from family members and share them with your children for the purpose of making names and faces in photographs come to life.
People are always saying the only direction to go is forward and into the future. Now while that is a true statement, it is equally important to remember that without a past there is no future, and without understanding the past, we cannot truly appreciate the future.

So, parents, I leave you with this: a plant needs both roots and leaves in order to survive. Your family’s history serves as your child’s roots, and the state of the plants leaves represent how well a child allows that history to shape and influence their lives.

Momma D
Copyright Feb. 2015. No part of this blog may be reproduced without the content of the author

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Bird in the Tree and Pretty Kitchen Curtains

In our family we always took turns praying at the dinner table. On this particular evening it was Emma’s turn. She was three, at the time and it just so happened that her place at the table was directly across from the window over the kitchen sink.

The windows were open and from where Emma was sitting she could see the giant walnut tree in the backyard. So that evening as she started praying, Emma she took particular delight in thanking God for just about everything—and I do mean everything…
“Thank you Jesus for today and for my family. Thank you for the pretty kitchen curtains and for the bird sitting in the tree outside, the cups on the table, and thank you for…”

At that point Olivia interrupted to inform us that Emma didn’t have her eyes closed—that she wouldn’t be able to see a bird outside if she did.
Emma defensively said she really was thankful for the curtains and the bird and all the other things she’d been praying about. And that, I said was a very good thing.

The next thing I did was to remind the rest of our children that praying is about a lot more than just closing your eyes and saying the ‘right thing’. Instead, I wanted them to learn from their baby sister.
I wanted them to embrace the familiarity and openness Emma felt when she prayed. I wanted them to see prayer as a way to talk with God rather than something they recite to God.

Over the years we prayed many prayers of thanks for baby lambs and good grades. We prayed for lost and dying pets, horrible school bus drivers, cross-country meets, less-than-stellar school teachers, and even good weather for trick-or-treating. And you know what? God heard and answered every single prayer with all the love and concern that makes him God.
The lesson in all of this? To allow and encourage your children to make their relationship with God personal…genuine…and one in which they know that everything that matters to them matters to him—kitchen curtains and birds sitting in a tree included.

Momma D

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oopsie Daisy!!

All in all my kids played together really well. But kids being kids, there were times when they…did not. There was even a time or two when these ‘battles’ resulted in a casualty or two; Oopsie Daisy being one of them…
Elizabeth and Olivia were five and three years-old when for a reason I don’t even remember, began to argue and Olivia decided she would be the one to come out on top. So what did she do? She went in for ‘the kill’ by grabbing up Elizabeth’s Oopsie Daisy doll and breaking her little leg right off her little plastic body.

Olivia’s ‘victory’ was short-lived, however, as justice was served swiftly and appropriately. While this did little to mend Elizabeth’s broken heart or Oopsie’s leg, I learned a very important lesson that day—well, actually two very important lessons.

Lesson one: It’s impossible to fix a broken leg on an Oopsie Daisy doll even when Daddy tries.
Lesson two: You should never make your child say the words “I’m sorry”.
Making a child say they are sorry is to make them tell a lie. That’s right-if you make a child say something they do not mean, then they are lying. Instead, you need to concentrate your efforts on helping your child feel the need to ask forgiveness and say they are sorry in their heart and mind… not yours.

Instead of making them say “I’m sorry”, require them to listen while the person they hurt expresses their feelings or explain to them how their actions hurt the other person and require them to think about how they would feel if someone had done the same to them.

Either way, the desired end-result is for your child to feel remorse and regret--which leads to wanting to apologize...and meaning it when they do.

FYI: These two ended up living together for a while when they left home and wouldn't hurt each other for :)

Momma D                                         


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Parenting: A Life Sentance Worth Serving

As parents we sometimes find ourselves dreaming of the day when our toddlers won’t be tugging on our clothes, when we don’t have to spend so much time shuttling kids from one soccer game to another, and sleeping with one eye open waiting for them to come home on Friday and Saturday nights.

But then that day comes…the day you drive out of the college dorm parking lot or are just one of many who are blowing kisses and bubbles as they drive away to begin their married life. And as you do, you are thinking…
·         Where did the time go?
·         It seems like only yesterday that I was…
·         I wish those days hadn’t gone by quite so fast.
·         Life sure will be different now…now that they don’t need me anymore.

Take it from Momma D—the years do go by all too quickly. And it really does seem like only yesterday (or maybe last year) that I was the one making sure the tooth fairy did her job, feeling triumphant over a toddler’s ninety-three trips to the potty, getting excited over new teeth, and sending out invitations to a party that says “I’m turning 1…or 2…or 4…or 7”.
What isn’t true, however, is that once your children are grown, they won’t need you anymore. You are their mother…their father…they will ALWAYS need you.

Within the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard or read…
·         Thanks, Mom, I really needed to hear that
·         I know I’ve already called you a bunch today, but…
·         She was so brave…she let me pull that tooth right out
·         Mom, it’s so hard when they’re sick…it makes me feel so sad
·         I am so excited for Friday…I really need a mom-daughter day
·         Where’s dad? I want to talk to him, too
·         Dad and I had a great time the other day
·         Do you think Dad would mind to…?

See? I told you…your kids will always need you. When it comes to being a mom or a dad, you are signing on for life. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Momma D