Daddy left me this note decades ago.
Phillip left this surprise note for our little one yesterday before he headed away for a business trip.
Small gestures, time well spent together, little notes…they all go a long way.
These notes mean something when we find them. They mean a whole lot more when we lose those we love so dearly.
Daddy, I miss you!!!!
I see so much of my father’s tenderness & care in my husband. I don’t take any of these moments for granted.
The Bright SpotTM - Write your kids a little note today. It may be something they cherish for the next 40 years.
Indeed, the cards, poems, drawings, gifts, flowers, those are all very appreciated, loved & cherished on Mother’s Day.
But the best part of the day was not the wonderful breakfast with smoked salmon or our afternoon in New York City, it was watching my children’s silliness & laughter wrapped in hugs & snuggles topped by kite flying with my kids in the early evening.
Running, playing, enjoying a gorgeous Spring day with the family.
The Bright SpotTM – Be present with your kids, they are your future memories, they are what makes Mother’s Day possible, they are the gift. Happy Mother’s Day, Moms~!! :)
It’s no secret children need their parents’ attention. Unconditional love, devotion, affection, warmth, trust, mutual respect and communication. Put down your handheld and be present when you’re with your kids. Nothing makes me sadder than to see a child at a playground looking longingly at his parent texting hoping the adult will play with him soon. They know you’re really not present. Or when a child bounds out of school with a look of excitement bursting to tell his parent about his day and he’s greeted with an obligatory wave while still looking down texting. How long do you think that excitement is going to last? How long do you think the communication lines will stay open? It can be forever if you always give your child the message “I’m here for you, I’m present.”
Our son so long ago & today,
nothing’s more comforting than just being there…
Hanging out or hanging in…
And our little one…
Teens are notorious for keeping to themselves, mumbling when spoken to, hanging out in their room rather than the den, etc., you know the drill if you have a teen. But if they have that secure feeling that you will give them 100% of your attention when they do open up about their world, their happenings, their loves and their heartaches, what a lucky parent you are! Drop everything and lend your ear and your heart. I never felt my parents didn’t hear me. They not only heard, they listened.
There’s a large, soft, pale green armchair next to my desk. I love when our son slumps into the chair, tossing his legs over the armrest ready to confide in me. Of course, it’s usually when I’m working or on a deadline, but nothing swells my heart more than knowing I’m the one who he chose to speak to at that very moment. I’ll stop anything I’m doing, swivel my chair in his direction and look into his deep, thoughtful eyes.
The Bright SpotTM – The great communicator in my life taught me this line of communication can stay open through all stages of my life and I can pass that gift on to my children. So can you. Click here http://theletstalkmom.com/tea-talk-momversations/daddy/ to read the special Bright SpotTM of that story to see what I mean - the message in that Bright SpotTM is important for ALL parents. So important it’s bold & underlined. It’s a lesson for us all in this modern world!
After you have taken a look at the link in the above paragraph, please read the quote below from the Dalai Lama about “being present:”
When asked, “What thing about Humanity surprises you the most?” the Dalai Lama answered: “Man…because he sacrifices health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama XIV
Be in a “present” state of mind when you are with your children. They will grow and leave before you know it. And when you are old, what greater gift than for them to be in a “present” state of mind when spending time with you.
You will be leaning on them one day. xo~b
Easter is my favorite holiday.
I love that our daughter was born the day after Easter.
I sometimes call her my Little BunnyChickie.
I love that Spring just started. Everything awakens from Winter’s long freeze & is born anew. The air smells fresh & green baby leaves are
slowly unfurling. I love pussy willows and forsythia, big blossoms and tiny crocuses.
I love the Easter story of Jesus’ Resurrection & I love the trumpets at church that glorious, Holy morning when we all celebrate together in song & praise. I love & appreciate the religious traditions of other folks as I am a member of a very large, close-knit, multicultural, multi-religious, multi-international, multi-lingual family.
I love coloring eggs & decorating them with the kids. I love the little 50-year-old, wooden, hand-painted European Easter decorations from my grandparents. I love to mix those decorations with our little one’s pretty, handmade decorations from preschool. Old & new crafts together.
I love the Easter Bunny, the delicate, ceramic decorations, fragile Easter eggs, egg-citing hunts & yummy candies.
I particularly love pastel M&Ms!! I like all chocolate, but those tiny, pale- colored little chocolate dots of joy always seem to find my lips, hummm… I admit, I will steal bites here & there from my children’s baskets in passing. I’ll pass a lot – cover those baskets!!
I love the Easter egg hunts at farms, in fields, at church & at friends.
Parties, celebrations, the Easter Bunny arriving on the fire truck!
I love Biblical epics on TV at this time of year and was particularly pleased with Mark Burnett’s The Bible miniseries ~ simply outstanding!!
The Bright SpotTM - I love Spring & all the cheeriness of the season!
Today the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. I love the festivities, I love being in parades, I love Ireland having studied at Trinity College in Dublin, and I love that even though I’m not Irish, everyone can be Irish for the day. But there is a special reason for a few of us to celebrate: 7 years ago today our son helped save the life of his schoolmate. They were 14 years old.
It had snowed a few days earlier and a bunch of boys went sledding at school. But part of the steep hill had iced over during the night. His friend’s sled flew across the ice and he lost control slamming his head into a brick wall.
The boys didn’t want to get into trouble at school and panicked. They thought it best to get their buddy inside without telling anyone. Our son stood up and said no. He ordered one kid to run and get adult help. He told another to call 911. He ripped off his coat and wrapped it around his friend who was in shock. He told the rest of the boys to not move him at all. His friend received a plate & 37 metal staples in his head. The doctors at the hospital where he was airlifted said had he been moved, he would have died. The immediate actions to get help, warmth and stay calm saved his life.
Our son had learned emergency care in Scouts. He knew it was right to risk reprimand from the school administrators rather than risk someone’s life.
The Bright SpotTM – Both boys are 21 now. We are so proud of them ~ fine young boys grown into fine young men.
More about our son: http://www.theletstalkmom.com/tea-talk-momversations/the-making-of-a-superhero/
Credit: Associated Press
I was finishing up a really great day trip with my daughter & one of her closest friends. The girls met more than 6 years ago in a baby lapsit music program. The little friend’s grandmother was with us on this particular day and my husband called to see when we would be home.
“It shouldn’t be more than an hour now,” I said and we each finished with “I love you very much, too.”
The grandmother turned to me when I hung up. “I didn’t mean to listen in but it was really nice to hear you talk like that with your husband.”
To me, it’s just normal. My husband and I are tender & loving in our daily routine. It’s good for us & it’s good for the children. Affection is part of their daily life, and I hope that their partners one day in the far future are just as loving & warm.
I remember advice from some folks when I first married: “Don’t call your husband at work, just let him just do his job.” “Don’t tell your husband you love him all the time, he’ll bore of you.” “And don’t be overly mushy, guys don’t like it.”
But I grew up in a loving home with smoochy parents & grandparents and I went with my gut. To me, men are just as deep as women are and most people, I believe, desire attention, recognition & hugs.
And what I find is that many people wish they had a more loving relationship. Or that they connected more with their spouse.
It’s really not hard. It’s the little things that add up to the wonderful bond between you & your significant other.
A brush past your partner with a soft touch across the shoulders. A little kiss as you pass in the kitchen or while your husband is working late into the evening. I leave him notes in his briefcase, he’s left me notes in the pantry, across my computer screen, in my coat pocket or the bottom of a soup pot!
Arm in arm when you walk, hand holding when you talk, a little text here & a little Google Chat there. It all adds up. Communication – touch, voice, writing – text or by hand. It all matters.
And nothing beats the kiss!
Don’t think your kids don’t notice. They want that comfort of a loving environment.
Of course, when they’re preteens, a kiss might evoke a look of disgust or even a groan, but in reality, it gives your children quiet inner peace to know their parents are close & loving and, with a divorce rate of nearly half of all marriages nowadays, don’t underestimate the great security it gives them.
So reach out to your partner. Physically & emotionally. And have fun!
It will not only be super for your relationship, but it will teach your children what a loving family is and what a great partnership looks like.
And the kindness your children experience they will share because they know it as their norm.
The Bright Spot™ - You already know your children model your behavior.
You have the power to mold their framework for a loving marriage and a connected family structure in their future.
So go on now…smooch the daylights out of your kids and your spouse! Happy Parenting!™
Born & raised in picturesque Connecticut just 30 minutes from Newtown, I was devastated to hear the news on December 14th. I sat in church longing for words from our clergy to help make sense of the tragedy. My heart was so heavy, my eyes and cheeks burned with tears for the parents, siblings, grandparents and friends who lost 20 of America’s babies and 6 heroic adults that fateful morning.
Christmas was about a week away and the kindly folks of that small, beautiful town felt grief beyond measure. Understandably, the holiday lights remained unlit.
Our church held several prayer vigils for the victims & surviors that horrific night, the very next morning and throughout the week. A Christmas concert had been planned for later that week and the question came up, “Should it be cancelled?” I and the rest of the congregation were so heavy-hearted. I expected the pastor to say it was cancelled.
But instead he said, “If we do not sing, evil wins. If we do not help our community move forward, we lose. If we do not light our trees and our candles, evil wins. If we do not help others to start healing, we lose.” “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you!” (Isaiah 60:1)
The Litany: “I live, at times…grieving the loss of loved ones…” “Oh Lord, You are my Light! Come, dispel my darkness!”
Closing Litany: “If we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another…”
A fellowship from around the globe! Calls poured in from our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends shocked by the news. The world community mourned the little children & brave adults all together and everyone’s wishes for strength, love, healing and comfort are flooding the families in Newtown.
456 children attended the school. There was only 1 homicide in that charming, rural town in the last 10 years. The parents will need help. The siblings will need help. Not talking about it to trusted friends or professionals could repress feelings and cause future problems. Many may feel “Survivor’s Guilt.” This tragedy has hit many adults and children in many parts of the world. We had a friend whose 8-year-old son didn’t want to go to school. Children need to feel safe. Parents need to address this in age-appropriate terms and only you, as a parent, know what your child can & cannot handle informationwise.
Phillip & I wanted to do what we could to help promote healing. We asked family therapist & trauma expert, Melissa Cook, to speak on our Live call-in radio program, “Let’s Talk!” on 1490am to give specific advice on steps families & individuals - directly & indirectly – could use to start to heal and repiece their lives. All shows are archived on this site, just click here:
“Do you smell that, Mommy?” I wasn’t smelling anything, I was heading into Party City for a dolphin balloon, last errand of the evening, my mind racing with the day’s events. “Smell what, Honey,” I asked, clutching her little, warm hand in mine as we weaved through the busy parking lot.
I stopped immediately between the safety of parked cars and looked at her. “What do you smell?” She looked up at me and then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “The smokey smell in the crisp air, that smokiness you smell when fireplaces crackle and leaves fall gently outside and we get costumes for Halloween and then the holidays begin!” Then she opened her eyes and smiled serenely.
What a simple delight when we stop everything and listen to our children. When we halt our harried lives and smell the air around us. Yes, just stop and breathe.
We took the kids to a 150-year-old farm for hayrides & pumpkin picking, corn mazes and strawberry fields…forever…
The girls worked hard creating their very own Pumpkin Henge:
After 20 years, I’m turning in my Marilyn outfit to match our daughter as “princess & queen” as we help coordinate this year’s Fall Festival and organize the costume parade with Batman.
Oh, I do love my Batman! Click here for more about my very own Caped Crusader: http://theletstalkmom.com/tea-talk-momversations/my-caped-crusader/
The Bright SpotTM - It’s not just roses we have to slow down for, smell the Autumn, too.
Janet Jackson’s catchy tune “What have you done for me lately?” and John F. Kennedy’s famous quote from his inaugural address, “…ask not what your country can do for you — ask what can you do for your country,” can symbolize your view of a relationship. Where do you fall in your marriage?
For us, we try to do whatever we can to please one another. If I grab a bottle of water for the car or our room for the night, I grab one for Phillip, too. It’s not even a thought, it’s just automatic. And it goes for anything. If he makes a cup of tea, he always makes two. If I can make my husband’s life more comfortable with simple, loving gestures, I do. And vice versa.
Sometimes I’ll warm a towel or his robe in the dryer for him shortly before he steps out of the shower, or I’ll chill a wine glass in the fridge before he comes home from work. These aren’t hard things to do, they don’t take effort, and are so appreciated. My husband sometimes leaves little notes in the big soup pot that say, “I love you,” and I leave naughty notes in his briefcase.
I learned very early on in our marriage that Phillip was a giver and a pleaser, and it made me want to do things for him in return. And so it went back and forth, back and forth. Now that’s a relationship cycle one would want to keep going!
Years back when I was about 20, there was a significant holiday – I can’t remember which one at this point – but I bought two cards and gave one to my grandmother and one to my grandfather. My grandmother smiled at me tenderly as she gave her card back. She put her arm around me and said, “Your grandfather and I are one; we share everything. We love your thoughtfulness, but we only need one card.” Then she kissed me on the forehead and that was that.
Married 61 years, they were loving and kind to each other every day. They held hands when they walked, when they sat on the couch, whenever they could. The memories are beautifully indelible. Their diamond celebration story: http://theletstalkmom.com/romance-and-spice/the-diamond-celebration/
So as I went into my marriage, I thought to myself I could think, “What have you done for me lately?” …or I could be a thoughtful spouse and say to myself, “What can I do for my husband?”
I know there are some people that might think I’m a wimp. Oh, contraire! When you are great to your significant other and your significant other is great to you, you are united, you are strong, you feel loved, and you are on the 61-year path.
The Bright Spot™ - When parents are strong together, the whole family benefits and thrives.
What better way to end Summer Fun 2012 than with a sky full of colorful fireworks on the beach in New York! A Blue Moon smiled down on us as my husband wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close. I leaned my head on his chest, the scent of him, his cologne and cotton candy was intoxicating. We watched the children with delight, eyes wide with wonder, as they enjoyed the last few nights of warmth & sea air this late summer weekend. Music rocked the crowd and folks started dancing on the boardwalk. It was like a movie.
The next day we took the kids to the Intrepid to visit the newly-opened Space Shuttle Pavilion. I didn’t realize seeing it for the 1st time up close would actually take my breath away~more than once at that!
Phillip gently touched the wing. “Don’t touch!” I chided, snapping into Mom mode and pointing to the Do Not Touch sign. “It was in outer space,” he defended, “it’s a marvel and I cannot leave without touching it. Besides, look at the side here – meteorites hit it & gouged the side panels. I can’t not touch it, it’s within reach, I’m not even leaning!”
Later we toured the Intrepid aircraft carrier (see: http://theletstalkmom.com/tea-talk-momversations/immigrants-aliens-the-american-girl/ for another story about the Intrepid!)
This visit we learned Intrepid is almost as long as the Chrysler Building (pic on right) & when it housed 3,000 people, the cooks used to bake 700 loaves of bread & grill 1,500 chickens per day! Per day! For years! Puts its size in perspective…
The Bright SpotTM - Phillip’s spot on: Enterprise, NASA, the astronauts & our space history are all truly marvels! Bravo to American ingenuity!