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Saturday, May 31, 2014


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

-Maya Angelou

The words of the late and profound poetess have been humming through my mind lately...thinking how we can be so caught up in routine that we don't give any consideration to the impact of our actions.

  • Could I have offered a smile or a hello to the stranger in the grocery store?
  • Did I really need to be so smug in proving myself "right" to my husband, only to make him feel bad?
  • Did I say thanks to my kids for the chores they finished? Instead of muttering to myself about the parts they didn't?

My mother was telling me a story about a customer the other day. Okay, not a customer–a person who visited her shop. The lady wanted to purchase a baby gift (a hat specifically), but hated everything my mother presented her and expressed her dissatisfaction with gusto. (Now, my mother is a people-pleaser and was quite apologetic, but there was no pleasing the woman. She left the store, basically announcing her disgust with a few choice words. When Mom told me the story, I felt my skin prickle. Obviously, not everyone is going to be pleased with particular merchandise, but why the rudeness? My mother commented, "I would've reprimanded my three-year-old for acting that way." 

How sad for the woman. I'm guessing she's avoided by a few people because of her condescending nature. Perhaps she doesn't even know how she makes people feel. Luckily, most of my mother's stories in the shop or exactly the opposite of this. My mama is nice. People are generally happy in her store.

We tell our kids to study hard, pick up after themselves, keep up their practice in sports or instruments. But how much time do we devote to teaching them to offer kindness? 

Probably not enough.

Thanks Maya Angelou for your beautiful words.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Soccer Mom Journal

I confess.

I initiate my fair share of harping at the kids. There's probably a reason they don't dash to greet me with open arms when I get home from work. My intent is always, always, always to greet them with a smile and ask them about their day. But inevitably, I become distracted by a mess in the kitchen or piles of sweatshirts, shoes and duffle bags on the floor. By the time I walk into the living room with the TV blasting of Spongebob, this idea of a good and patient mom has vanished into thin air.

Yet...I've been thinking lately.

I need to let my kids know something. I like adore how happy they are.

There are few families who will disagree about the insanity of the month of May. End of the year band and vocal concerts. Dance recitals. Graduation parties. Compound this with the soccer/baseball/track season, and one parent probably needs to resign from their day job in order to keep up. I hear some people bicker about how kids are too busy these days. But I'm not so sure. It seems, to me, the more involved kids are, the happier they become.

Case in point #1:

Cole has been a soccer aficionado since he was very young. (Luckily for us, he intends on playing in the Premier League someday which will make us very rich.) The kid has played soccer almost every season, fall and spring, since he was four. Now he intends to add cross country and basketball to his list of activities. (He's mentioned a career in the NBA as well as the soccer league things... Of course, he needs to learn to beat his mother at HORSE.) No matter, the kid likes to be busy and he definitely squirms with a zestful glee.

Case in point #2:

On a whim Alex decided to go out for soccer  this year. It's her first appearance since middle school. We questioned whether she could handle a sport after taking off so many years, then mix the intense sport into her whirl of other activities. Ultimately, we commend her on the move. She might not realize this, but her joy level has multiplied enormously. Yay for soccer.

I've come up with this most awesome logarithm:

Activity=endorphins, Endorphins=happy kids. Happy kids=Productive citizens (not necessarily NEAT citizens). Productive citizens=Bragging parents. Bragging parents=World Peace. Because everyone loves bragging parents, right?

Now that school, soccer, vocal, band, religious ed, and every other club known to man is finally winding down for the year, how will I ensure these kids will remain involved and happy?

Maybe they can clean the house! Or...more realistically, they can go outside and tackle each other.

Who won this one?