Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playground review

Today I arrived at Gannon's preschool about 20 minutes early, so I decided that instead of rushing to get him, that I would relax and observe his class on the playground-from the comforts of my car-for a bit. He has a large class; about 20 on average, so I sometimes wonder how much he's really getting out of it. But, that's another topic, so I'll move on... I'm observing/spying on the kids and their teachers, and one little girl caught my eye. I've noticed her before, but I've only ever seen her at her seat or walking in the hall. Today she was swinging. This wouldn't be unusual, except she is missing her entire left arm from the shoulder down. She was the only child playing on the swings, and she was really giving it all she had. I observed her not only climb into the seat by herself, but also begin to swing herself. Can you imagine trying to swing with just one arm??? She had a clumsy system, with swaying her torso and kicking off the ground with one foot, but by golly she was swinging herself. And she did it with no help at all, and she didn't even ask for help! I was simply amazed at her tenacity and perseverance.

Meanwhile, my son is making the rounds for the slide. Up the stairs, through the tunnel, down the slide...repeat. Not nearly as amazing as his little classmate, but he is cute nonetheless. At one point he walked over and tackled another little boy. I was horrified at first, but then the other boy turned around and tackled him right back and they both went about their business ("being lions" as I was later informed). Dynamics between boys is so different than for girls! You can tackle your buddy and still be buddies. If a girl were to tackle another girl, not only would they discontinue their friendship for the next 30 minutes, but they might just go and tell everyone else about it (i.e. gossip).

Gannon comes home every day from school with rocks in his shoes. Yes, the school playground has rocks for the nice, soft padding on which our little babies fall. So not only does Gannon have rocks in his shoes every day, he has also come home with scrapes and cuts from when he falls down. I haven't figured that one out, yet. WHY did they choose rocks instead of mulch, or something softer?? It's beyond me, but today I thought that it would be nice if all the parents had a fundraiser for the preschool to raise money to replace the rocks with a softer surface. I mean, when you have kids age 2-5 playing out there, they are going to fall down! Who wants to fall on rocks?

Okay, I got off on a soapbox there. Isn't it amazing all of the things one's mind can think up during 15 minutes of playground observation?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Deep thoughts from down south

I've read a couple of blog posts this week by friends of mine, and they were reflecting on their year and what they have learned from the year. I usually try to do this around year's end as well, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon (nothing wrong with a good bandwagon!) and post my thoughts as well. I'm sure they won't be as introspective and thought-provoking as my fellow bloggers, but this will have to do. They are not in any particular order.

1. Family is good, very good. I'm not just speaking of my husband and children (although they are good, too), but rather the family members I have in mind are those that live farther away. I had the opportunity to visit with several family members this year that I don't generally get to see very often, and I'm always thankful that I have such a great family!

2. Naptime is one of the most precious things in the world.

3. People act out their emotional pain in very strange, confusing, and hurtful ways sometimes.

4. God's provisions are enough. I don't have to have a big house, the perfect car, or the trendiest clothes for God to love me. I just need His love and grace, and I will be provided with everything else I need (and then some!).

5. Introversion sometimes means that you don't always get to participate in fun things. --but those things aren't always necessary anyway (i.e. #4).

6. Don't take good health for granted.

7. As seasons change, so do people and places. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it is very sad. But all very necessary.

Also, please keep my dear grandfather in your prayers. He has been in and out of the hospital now for several months--he is 90 years old--and it has now been decided that Hospice will be called in for the remainder of his time with us. Please also pray for those making the tough decisions about his care, and those providing the care for him. He is my last living grandparent, and I love him dearly! Thanks in advance for any prayers you can send his way...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm a proud Mommy

Here she is pre-haircut.
Melody has been growing her hair for the past 18 months or so. I think the last time she got it cut was around her 5th birthday, which was last summer. During that time, she also decided to grow out her bangs, so we've been dealing with long, thick hair for a while now! Melody's BFF from preschool donated her long locks to an organization called Locks of Love. So, Melody decided that she'd like to do the same. Let me tell ya, it hasn't been easy to brush out that long hair, nor wash it! But, yesterday since Melody was home from school all day, I decided that it was time to go get it cut! She had finally grown it out the required 10 inches (I think she had 11, actually).

I'm very proud of her for having a giving heart and spirit. She's super-happy with her new hairdo, and I am, too! I love it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well-intentioned kindness

I saw a bumper sticker today that gave me cause to wonder. It said, "Kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us."

Okay, now let me premise this by saying that I love animals. I really do. (You may question this if you know my current love-hate relationship with my dogs.) I do not believe in animal cruelty and my heart breaks whenever I hear stories of animals being abused, etc. HOWEVER, I take issue with this bumper sticker. I don't think it is false to say that kindness to animals can build a better world, but I think it takes a lot more than kindness to animals to have a harmonious world.

Wouldn't it be more prudent to say, perhaps, "Kindness to OTHERS" or "Kindness to ONESELF"? I think that our human interactions is what truly build a better world. The whole pay it forward phenomenon, in my opinion, is capable of bringing about lasting change for a better world. Okay, so that might include being kind to an animal, but you can make a greater impact on a fellow human being. It is all well and good to rescue a homeless animal, but what if we gave the same effort to rescue a homeless person?

In reference to the "kindness to oneself"...there are so many people out there who just exist..they contribute nothing because they don't feel as though they have any self-worth. They have entered into a cycle of behavior that causes them to abuse drugs, abuse others, and abuse themselves. What if they put half of that energy into actually taking care of themselves? That would also build a better world!

I certainly don't want to get into trouble with any animal activists out there, but I personally put more value on a human life than I do on an animal's life. I feel that to truly build a better world, we need to increase the number of times we are kind to others. Sure, throw in some kindness to animals, too!

Yes, I got all that from a silly bumper sticker. Go figure.