Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Momma, Why Does Santa Like Some Kids More Than Me???

About this time last year I read something that broke my heart. It was an open letter from a mom to all the other moms ‘out there’. The woman was asking moms across the country to please have Santa give their children ordinary gifts rather than expensive, extravagant items like phones, computers, gaming devices, designer clothes, and the latest and greatest toys. She asked that if parents chose to give their children these items that they come from them instead of Santa.

Why? Because she never wanted to be put in the position of having to answer her six year-old daughter’s question again—“Why does Santa Claus like other kids more than he does me?”

This loving mother explained that she and her husband worked hard to provide for their two children, but their paychecks barely paid for the necessities in life like rent, childcare, food, utilities, clothes, and vehicle expenses. In other words, there wasn’t much left for Christmas.

“We couldn’t afford the things other kids in their classes at school got,” she said. “But when my daughter heard other kids talking about what they got, she was hurt and confused. Not because she didn’t get those things, but because she viewed the obvious differences as a sign that she wasn’t good enough in Santa’s eyes to merit such gifts—that she had done something bad or wrong to cause him not to bring her the same type of gifts some of her friends received.”

She went on to say that she didn’t want people feeling sorry for them and that she wasn’t asking for a hand-out. She just wanted to remind people that since we tell our kids that Santa loves all boys and girls and that he brings gifts to them because of this love, we need to make Santa an ‘equal opportunity gift-giver’.

So as you get ready to head out to grab up all those Black Friday deals and try to fulfil the wishes of everyone on your gift list, remember that it really isn’t the cost or extravagance of the gift, but the fact that you thought of giving anything at all. Besides, if you think about it, Santa can’t possibly afford all those things, so….

Happy Thanksgiving!
Momma D

                            Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be copied or used without permission from the author. 

                                                                                                         



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Swallow That Apple!!!

Last week I was reminded of an incident (if you want to call it that) that took place over twenty-seven years ago.  It wasn’t anything big or dramatic, but like all those little things usually do, it holds a lesson for us all.

Picture it…five little ones sitting around a table eating their lunch. They were ages, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 18 or nineteen months. The 4 and 1 ½ year old were mine—the other three were my friends’ boys whom I took care of frequently.

Anyway…everyone was pretty much done, so I was wiping hands and faces so they could get down to play. Elizabeth, the 1 ½ year old, however, still obviously had a mouthful of something. Upon further investigation, I discovered she was ‘hoarding’ her diced up apple in her cheek like a chipmunk. Why? Who knows? But nothing I said or did could convince her to swallow that apple—not even threatening to take away her beloved Stacy (her doll).

Elizabeth held that cheek full of apple in her mouth for HOURS. I’m talking like four or 5 hours! Why? Again, who knows. But here is what I do know…

Kids hold on to a lot more than a mouthful of mushed up apple. They hold on to memories of games played, stories read, and harsh words spoken and being ignored. They hold on to memories of favorite foods, favorite shirts, and being criticized for being chubby and looking sloppy or ‘weird’ or whatever term you used. Kids hold on to memories of  camping trips, picnics, the first fish they caught, and seeing the back of your head more than any other part of you because you were too busy working or taking time for yourself.

Are you holding on to what I’m putting out there for you to take hold of?  I hope so, but I’m not done yet. There’s a flip-side to this coin. Sometimes kids hold on to things they need to let go of. We parents are people, too. We’re not perfect. So if have a child who is holding on to the fact that you missed a school program—even though you didn’t miss fifty-two others, don’t let them make you feel guilty or use this as a weapon against you. Or if your child won’t let go of the fact that your trust in them has been broken because of something they’ve done, don’t let them use this to make you feel guilty or second-guess yourself. They are the ones that need to let ‘it’ go and work towards rebuilding that trust.

Holding on to the right things can be great. It can even save your life. Holding on to the wrong things, however, can get you and your children hurt. So do your best to be the kind of parent who gives your child enough good things for them to fill their hand and arms with. In doing so, hopefully they won’t have any room left for the not-so-good things. Either way, if you do the best you can, you can go to bed each night knowing that you did just that—your best.

We’ll never know why Elizabeth held on to that mouthful of apple all those years ago. Maybe it was to give me something to write about today. J

Love,

Momma D
                            Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be printed or used without permission from the author. 

                                                                                                         

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I Am From Leftover Cookie Dough and Walnut Stained Hands

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about the house/farm we called home for all the years we were raising our kids. It was the same place my grandpa was born. It was the same place my mom was born. The roots ran true and deep and there’s no other place I would have wanted to raise them.

The house you raise your family in and the effort you put into making it a home is vital to your child’s sense of self-worth and confidence. But you might be surprised to learn that it’s not the size of the house, the amenities of the house, or the address of the house that make it a home. To your children, it is the culmination of your family’s ‘fingerprints’—the tangible and intangible personality traits that make the home that builds your children into adults.

I could spend a few minutes expounding on what I mean by family fingerprints or personality traits, but instead, I’ll let a small portion of Emma’s poem—one she wrote in high school—do the job for me.
Where I Come From—by Emma Noble

I am the floor that creaks…
The red tile kitchen floor…
I am from 105.3 in my brother’s first truck…
From the walnuts that stain my hands…
From the chair I stood on to dry dishes…
From my mom’s flowerbeds, sidewalk chalk, gravel on my bare feet…
From a musty barn full of sheep…
I am leftover cookie dough...
I am from pigtails and cowboy boots to t-shirts and peace signs...
I am from the scar on my finger from sticking rocks in the VCR when I was three...
I am from "Golden Girls" reruns...
Never having to lock our doors...
From my sisters' clothes...
From red church pews--when churches still had pews...
The metal bowl in the kitchen and knowing what's in every cabinet...
From my dad’s hankie in his back pocket; he always has one…
I am from 12750 County Road 7160

Take it from Emma, parents; raising kids is about the little things…a whole lot of little things that make life something to smile about.

Love,
Momma D

                            Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

                                                                                                         




Thursday, November 5, 2015

QUIT TRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For most of my life I’ve been okay with the fact that I have naturally curly hair. In fact, I’m actually thankful for my hair…but it hasn’t always been that way. You see, I was in junior high and high school when Farrah was in her prime; meaning you couldn’t turn in any direction without seeing long, layered hair with feathered bangs that required a LOT of hairspray to hold them in place. And if you didn’t have that kind of hair, you had the short and very straight Dorothy Hamill look with that perfect little upsweep in the back that came to a point.

And then there was me...and Penny, Donna, and Lisa. Layers only made it curlier, feathered bangs were not an option (feathers aren’t curly, you know), and the whole Dorothy thing, well that was definitely out of the question.

So what did I do? I gave up, that’s what! I gave up trying to transform myself into someone I wasn’t. And you know what? I turned out just fine. I married my childhood sweetie (he loves my curls). I raised four nearly-perfect kids who have given me five absolutely perfect grandchildren and I am honoring God by using my gift for writing to educate and encourage people around the world (hopefully you’re one of them).

The moral of this story is QUIT TRYING! Quit trying to make your eight-year old into a musician when he/she would rather be drawing pictures or building robots. Quit trying to turn your thirteen year old into a future scholarship awardee for playing soccer when he/she would rather be blowing into a clarinet or making jewelry to sell to all her friends. In other words, QUIT TRYING to turn their ‘curls’ into ‘feathers’.

When you encourage or even force your kids to work on their weaknesses instead of their strengths you set them up for failure and a sense of poor self-worth. You are also wasting time they could be spending doing things that make them feel great about themselves and that are actually inspiring them toward a bright future. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t encourage your six year old to keep trying when it comes to reading or that your two year old shouldn’t be encouraged to use the big girl/boy potty. What I’m saying is this: God made us all uniquely special and as parents, it’s our job to help our kids learn to let that uniqueness shine brighter than the north star—not try to ‘fix’ what we think God could have done better.

Love,

Momma D

                           Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this may be used or copied without permission from the author.