Sunday, September 28, 2014

That Brother of Yours...

{A post from the archives 2012 to be precise of my favorites that still makes me grin. 
Please ignore the foreboding snow in the background.}


Dear Molly,

I think it's time to explain something to you about that brother of yours.

Oh I know you think he's so funny. I know he makes you laugh until you can't breath. 

I know he waits on you hand and foot as if he believes that you actually have royal blood running through your veins. 

Yes, you can always count on him for a good cuddle...

... and I know that you two have quite a time everyday when he puts you down for your nap. 

That he became even more of a hero to you the day he showed you how to become Spiderman is something no one could ever doubt. 

But Molly, that brother of yours, he is a joker and, you my dear are one of his prime targets, probably because you are the smallest and the least likely to do much physical harm to him and because he's confident that you won't be able to stay mad at him for very long.

A joker he is though, and you need to be aware of this because the other morning when he grabbed a Phillips Head screwdriver and told you that it was used to make belly-buttons and then you said "Wow! I didn't know that!" it was all over. He knew he had you. So when he chased you with that screwdriver while you screamed, "Don't Cole, I don't need TWO belly buttons!!" I just couldn't help but laugh...hard...and that simply wasn't very helpful to you and your poor little traumatized self.

My advice to you is to be skeptical about anything that brother of yours (and really all boys in their teenaged years) might tell you that seems odd or out of place...he's probably setting you up for some  joke or trick. 

If, however, that brother of yours tells you something nice or maybe even that he thinks you are pretty or special, you can be sure that he means it with all of his goofy laughter-craving heart.

 The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out his nose.  
~ Garrison Keillor

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Deep Breathing

"Six...minutes...until...home..." I told myself as I rounded the last corner toward my home. My morning run had been a tough one. I'd had to start talking myself into it the moment my alarm went off. Then every mile had to be gutted out and endured.

" step at a time...." as I climbed the last hill. Not all morning runs are like this. Not even most of them. Usually after the first mile is behind me I settle into a comfortable pace and relax a bit. Not today. For some reason, every step required effort.

Some days are like that in this life. Each step a difficult one. Every moment a battle of one size or other. The oatmeal gets burned and the juice is spilled then a school book is lost or a child's attitude that was sour to start the day only seems to grow sharper and more sullen as the day wears on.

When I find myself struggling with finishing a run or enduring a bad day, I've learned that it's a good idea to pay attention to how I'm breathing. As I run there is a pattern that I follow of breathing in for three strides and then breathing out for two. As the hills get steeper, I increase the number of breaths per the number of strides.

If my day begins to loose all civility it is also wise in that situation to check my breathing.  Am I "huffing" about so that everyone knows I'm all bothered? Am I clinching my jaw and moving about ready to rain down the fiery breath of one who demands better things from her day and her family? It would be far better to find a pattern of slow deep breathing as life's hills approach.

Steady calm breathing has always been the best way to begin and will always be the wisest way to continue.

And, as always, it's so much easier to write about breathing deeply and slowly than it is to live breathing deeply, slowly. I know though from my uphill efforts that to breathe well is to make the hill possible. The same holds as I live in the world where I swap my running shoes for the flip-flops of everyday and the shiny pumps on Sundays.

Breathe. Deeply, slowly.

One breath at a time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Molly on the Case...

"Look Mom!" Molly, the brand new six year old said, pointing to the TV, "do you know where that girl played?"

"No, I don't."

"She's from Monk! She's the one who got killed on the beach."

"Oh did she play the woman who was Monk's wife?"

"No Mooooommmmmm, Monk's wife died from a car bomb. This girl was the one who was murdered on the beach, don't you remember?"

"Good grief," says Meg when this happens, "I'm 14 and I'm still not allowed to see Sponge Bob!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Home is where they school ya!

They say that home is the place where your family is, and they are right, of course. Home is also the place where your very own bed is and where you know just which boards in the floor creak and groan under your feet. Home is where you know the make and models of all of the neighbors vehicles and where your flowers are planted and where there are pencil marks on a door frame charting the growth of all who dwell within. It is a place that, at times, you look forward to leaving and at other times it is the very place to which you long to return.

Home is also where our school happens and today was our first day back at it. This year The Wright Academy's students include a high school sophomore and a freshman as well as a fourth grader and a first grader. We are rested, we are ready, and we have taken our first day of school picture...

...whew! That's finished. 

Now, it is true that all of us think that the taking of the picture was completely sufficient to count as a completed day of school, but really...

 I think we should go ahead and tackle eating lunch too!
{wink, wink}

Happy September!

My favorite Back to School post: here and why in the world we choose to homeschool is here.

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