Fallen angel

Even with our Christmas tree set up in the pack-n-play, our twins are wreaking havoc on the decorations. I recently glanced over to see angel head down, trapped mid fall. Part of me wanted to fix that angel and another part realized that it is an important reminder that even “fallen angels” have a place in the Christmas story. No matter who we are or what we’ve gone through, we all deserve to experience the hope and joy of a new birth.

It is not always about moving forward

I made use of our family YMCA membership for the first time today. Between carting children to and from swim lessons, I darted into a Zumba class for a few minutes. In that short time, a part of my soul began to wake from a deep hibernation. While I have always loved to dance, my recent, daily movements have been restricted to transporting my body from one task to another. Whether biking to and from work or scurrying around the house or school, I rarely take the opportunity to twist and bend with the sheer purpose of movement for movement’s sake.

How can we make more time to enjoy movement in our lives beyond that of forward propulsion?

Accepting kindness

Leaving work, I began to sweep the snow off my car using my arm instead of fishing the scraper from the depths of the car. Yes, it was the lazy route, but admittedly, a method I favor on a frequent basis. All of a sudden I looked up to see a young woman offering to liberate my windshield with her scraper in hand. For a moment, I considered explaining my laziness and refusing her help, but then I realized that would be missing the point. She was offering kindness and it was my job to accept it.

The scraping only took a minute or two. I offered my gratitude and complimented her jacket. We both left happier from the experience.

Sometimes accepting kindness is the best way to show it in return.

Snapshots

We attempted our Christmas picture today. This involved convincing four young children it would be a good idea to sit on the couch, looking in the same direction with their dresses down and their eyes open. Buried in the two hundred photos was a keeper.

Each moment of our lives is a snapshot of sorts. Once in a while the picture is worth keeping. Relishing in those moments and looking forward to the next ones is what keeps us going.

Not just a label

Some students come to school with labels such as “ADHD”, autistic, poor, quadriplegic, or super-star. The reality is, the label only describes a fragment of how they show up in the world. We must remember that “ADHD” is also an incredible artist and tween with a loving family. “Quadriplegic” is one of the most clever and funny kids you’ll ever meet and the “super-star” is also an incredibly picky eater who yearns for more friends as most 10 years old do.

We are all more than our labels.

Confidence and humility

Our seven year old daughter has incredible confidence. Every tumbling trick is a “must see” and infinitely better than the last one. Her self-assurance will undoubtably serve her in her future. However, paired with that self-confidence is the ever important need for humility. For one of the first times in recent memory, today our eldest said, “I’m not sure of the answer.” It is acknowledging how much she knows as well as knowing what she doesn’t know, that will be the key to her continued growth. I am excited for a front seat view of her evolution!

How can we continue to evolve in our confidence and humility?

Perspective taking

On the day after the Michael Brown decision, one of the teens I work with in her home environment joined our fifth graders at the art museum. As this teen with no vision experienced art through her finger tips, so did the students…understanding that perspective taking goes beyond what we can see with our eyes at quick glance.
How can we experience this universal truth in our our lives and in the “life” of the media?