On a recent visit, my three-year-old nephew Henry asked, “What’s there on your face?”
It took me a minute, but I realized he was asking about the worry-lines between my eyebrows (wrinkles). I smiled and said, “Those are just my wrinkles. Look I have more when I smile” and pointed at the crow’s feet formed on the side of my eyes.
The next day Henry asked why I had those spots on my face and arms. I told him they were my freckles… spots where the sun kissed my skin. He looked innocently at his arms and said, “My freckles are still sleeping.”
While his noticing my wrinkles made me a little sad, his discovery of my freckles and statement about his sleeping spots was super sweet and made me think about the freckles, wrinkles, and other characteristics that appear with time.
I know we can all relate to our adolescent desires to be taller, fuller, thinner, or whatever-er, but once we are doing the adulthood thing, how often do we give ourselves credit for the features that are no longer “sleeping”? Or how do we celebrate the differences between people? Do we point out the idiosyncrasies of other’s appearance in positive or appreciative ways?
Last Christmas my youngest son received a remote controlled drone. It was a nice drone. So nice, in fact, that it required 10 AA batteries. Four batteries went into the drone itself and six went into the remote.
Christmas was really good to my boy and it was a week or so before he got around to playing with the new flying contraption. The thing is, he decided to play with the drone in my absence. Hubby was “watching” our two boys and my 5 year-old nephew when they opened the drone and its parts. After the surprise hurricane of packaging and instructions, the boys enlisted hubby to help with the batteries and directions. Taking his dad duties very seriously, my husband coached the boys on how to insert batteries the correct way and made valiant attempts to read the directions as they flew the drone crazily INSIDE our house.
After a “crash course” in drone flying, hubby and the three aspiring pilots took the flying terror outside. It was a clear and fairly warm day for late December so take off was a go. The drone proved difficult to control for the little hands of the the boys, and my husband was forced to keep a vigilant eye on their piloting. After a bit, they were cold and chose to come inside. The drone was left on the kitchen counter and the boys dispersed to reek havoc on another part of the house.
A short time later, my husband took a phone call in our home office and the drone took an unsupervised flight compliments of my nephew.
The timeline of my 1st grader’s life according to him.
In a recent Social Studies lesson, my son was learning about timelines. The last activity on the page was to make a timeline of events in his life. Of course we began with when he was born. The only other events he chose to include were getting our dog and starting school. When the time came to add 2020, I asked what he wanted to record for current events.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, “Anthony is stuck at home.”
Those five words spoke volumes. They reflected how our current situation has defined this period in our lives. Stuck.
This assignment reminded me of a homework activity my daughter had last fall. She was to interview family members and ask what event they believed defined their generation. Both hubby and I believed that 9/11 was the defining experience for those of our age. My mother-in-law and father-in-law said Vietnam or Korean Wars. Greg’s grandmother said World War II and a tornado that had hit their hometown. It was funny to me how tragedies seemed to determine our identities. Why is it that we don’t typically use the advent of a new invention or success as the center to what we see in ourselves?
Greeting cards are one of the best parts of birthdays, anniversaries, saying thank you, or just to brighten someone’s day. At my son’s 7th birthday party, I gained a new appreciation for the messages inside greeting cards.
A few of the boys made cards to go with their gifts. These were particularly sweet and showed some serious artistic promise. Others purchased greeting cards they thought the birthday boy would enjoy. (His loves for the color yellow, Legos, outer space, and dinosaurs were well represented.)
The magical epiphany of greeting card messages came as the huddle of wiggling wish givers waited for my son to sound out the words inside a store-bought card. One of my son’s buddies (who had made his own card) exclaimed, “It came with all those letters already inside!”
That 7 year-old boy realized something as simple as a card already containing an expression of friendship was something to celebrate. The fact there was an option to give a card with the message right there inside was something to be proud of, to feel excited about, and to make a gift extra fancy.
Here is your Intentergy challenge for today. You are just like that card. You already have the letters inside you. Dedicate your intent and energy to putting the message out there for others. Be proud of your accomplishments and of your friends and family. Share excitement for great things happening around you. Fancy things up a bit with some flattering, faith-filled, or funny messages. You were sent here with all those letters already inside you. It’s okay if you don’t sound like a Hallmark commercial. The simplest sentiments and discoveries (like a card with the letters already inside) are better anyway.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Special shout out to my friend Angela for being the mom who sacrificed herself as a warrior in the Nerf gun war. Angela took one for the mom team allowing the Nerf war teams to be even. I salute you!
Saturday as my kids and their cousins wrestled on my parents’ living room floor, my sister and I discussed which children we were leaving for Grandma and Grandpa to keep. (None of the children were in fact being left. They just wouldn’t stop wrestling.)
My sister’s car was full of hockey gear and fresh beef (picked up from the butcher shop that morning). My dad said he wasn’t sure how it was all going to fit. My sister assured him it would be okay. My nephew volunteered to leave his hockey gear, so he would not have to go to hockey at 6:30 the next morning.
My sister laughed and said, “I should just leave you and let Grandma take care of you.”
The Word Wizard Wyatt – credited with inventing the word “funishment”
My nephew’s response, “What kind of punishment is that? That’s more like a funishment!”
As the school year races our way, planning for new student orientations are revving up. By some lucky star I have been selected to speak at the Power Up for new students at my college in August. The theme is the “Ultimate Guide to Success.” (Not sure how I feel about being ‘ultimate’ yet, but I am going to try.)
After I received the email inviting me to give the speech, I lay awake in bed hoping some earth-shattering ideas would come to me for the presentation. The one thing I fear most is to give a “typical” start-of-the-year speech. Instead of flashes of inspiration my 7 year-old appeared. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep either. So I asked him what I should say to help students start the year. (Why would’t we ask a 7 year-old?)
He gave it some serious thought and said, “Tell them to do their best and forget the rest.” (Thank you, Paw Patrol.)
Then he went on to say, “Tell them to ask questions.”
Wait a second.
That was pretty good advice. Isn’t asking questions the scariest part of learning?
Do you ever worry about kids listening to the lyrics of contemporary music? I do, but sometimes the translations of lyrics by kids makes life worth living.
Luke Bryan is questioning my intents with this post
Our county fair was this week and each of my children invited a friend to go with us. As we drove to the fair, my kids requested Luke Bryan’s “Shake It For Me.” Granted this song is not really controversial but may not necessarily be okay for little kids, as it suggests that the shaking of one’s behind is the way to a man’s heart. (I still love you, Luke Bryan.)
The Creative Power of the Unknown – Wise Words Wednesday
The personal philosophies found in the This I Believe collection continue to amaze me. One that stood out to me in particular this week came from astrophysicist Alan Lightman.
In his personal philosophy he wrote, “I hope that there are always things we don’t know about the physical world as well as about ourselves. I believe in the creative power of the unknown. I believe in the boundary of standing between the known and the unknown. I believe in the unanswered questions of children” (Allison, 149).
Our brains are so overworked with the little details of everyday survival that we forget to hold onto the magic of wonder. We limit our boundaries for growth.
I love when my children ask me questions that stump me. Those questions demonstrate the tremendous potential my children have for understanding and intelligence. It also reminds me that it’s ok to not be a know-it-all. We always have something to learn about our world or ourselves.
Kids say the darndest things. They make these comments out of honesty and innocence (in most cases). While we usually disregard their observations as off-the-wall, we need to remember what our children say is a reflection of what they hear.
Recently some very angry words have come from the mouths of children in my life. Those angry words were directed at candidates of political races. It saddened me to hear them speak of any human being in such a manner, but it was particularly troubling because they spoke those words with complete honesty and comfort.
They were comfortable calling grown-ups, whom they don’t even know, names and accusing those adults of horrible things. The kids at school were verbally and emotionally angry with anyone who differed in their views about who should be elected. Their passion was admirable, but their hatred and distaste was unnerving. Continue reading “The Word is Near You – Wise Words Wednesday”→