Monthly Archives: December 2017

Going positive

I’m sorry – but who really likes going to the dentist?

I actually believe I can say I haven’t ever met such a person.

But my recent visit (just saying – it was only for a cleaning) – left me feeling pretty positive.

It was the hygienist  who did it.  She, herself, was so positive.

“Keep doing what you’re doing”“good for you” – “I understand”.  There was no scolding, no insinuating comments that I could “try harder” (even though I could), “do more” (for sure)  and definitely no guilt. (phew!)

Any professional comments she made were all so encouraging. “When you’re ready”, “When you’re able”, “if you’re interested”.

And I left the dentist that day feeling pretty good about myself – determined to maybe even try harder – maybe floss twice a day – who knows?

And I thought about what had just happened.  If she had owned a different tone, been a bit “righteous” about the improvements that are out there which I “should for sure do”, been negative about my daily care, I would have felt defeated, defensive, and frustrated instead of energized to do better.

At this time of year the  holidays will be bringing together families and relatives – all with their own ways of parenting, cooking, political beliefs, living.

I suggest we go positive.

Just listen and nod, smile, and take a small helping of your sister-in-law’s favorite (but not yours, no way!) casserole.  Look at situations and comments with a new lens, knowing that we are all different, even as we are all alike.

That’s family for you  – and that’s the beauty of the holidays.

I wish all of you a truly positive and Happy Holiday, my friends – and a healthy and joyful New Year ahead!

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Last week I found myself sharing some work space with a seven-year-old boy, the son of one of my co-workers,  waiting for his mom as she finished up work in her office.

We were both engaged in our own “art projects” – me preparing a craft for Play Shoppe and this young boy busy with paper and markers.

“Want to see what I’m doing?” he asked me.  “It’s for my Mom and Dad.”

It was a card he was decorating.  On the front it said, “Thank you Mom and Dad”.

“It’s for Christmas” he told me.

That began a gradual unfolding of the Christmases this young guy held in his mind and his heart.  Listening to him, his eyes sparkling like Christmas lights, I felt like I had fallen into Christmas personified.

His recollection of Christmases past was all about family- his “Dad’s side” and his “mom’s side” – the fun, the excitement that spilled out of him – about his memories and his anticipation was priceless.

It was about snowball throwing on the way home from church, everyone sleeping over on Christmas Eve, the food, the present opening – but mostly, the sheer joy of family and tradition that flowed out of him so lovingly.

His magic worked on me.

From feeling  a sense of “Christmas? Really? Already? – I switched to my own lovely memories of Christmases past, family togetherness, traditions, and personal anticipation.

So thank you – Keya – for sharing – and for turning an ordinary bleak, late Thursday winter afternoon into my very own Christmas Carol..

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your call

I didn’t think about it until after we said good-bye.

We had been visiting our son and family by video one evening.  As is the case, our 3-year-old grandson held the limelight – entertaining, singing, playing his ukulele, showing us things.

Often during our times like this, he’ll ask me, “read one of the books from your house to me”.

This was one of those times.

I hesitated. His parents both said it was time to say good night and go to bed.  But – as so many  3-year-olds would do, he persisted in asking me to read.

And as so many grandmas would do, I waffled.

I said “I could – I would if Mommy and Daddy say it’s okay”.  Wow –  I had just joined forces with the three-year-old, knowing full well what his parents wanted to happen.

But his Daddy – in spite of my waffling,  gently yet firmly said, “no – not tonight.  Say good night. It’s time for bed.”

And it was.

And later I thought about the slippery slope there is into “butting” in to parental needs and decisions..

And I also knew – we had had enough time, a good time, and it was time to end.  His parents knew it – and despite pleas to continue, they matter-of-factly said “say good night.”

And I was very impressed.

As so many of you will be spending the holidays with extended families, it is expected that routines are bound to be altered somewhat.  But when you know it’s time, when you want – need –  something to change, to begin, to end for your children – just say it – do it.

As parents you get to make the calls, set the pace.

And the relatives?

They get to be impressed!


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