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Showing posts from January, 2016

Naming the Riches

A flurry of events. A wagon load of relatives. I often wonder how the children see the holidays. They must think that cousins, aunts, and uncles are as plentiful as the avocados and mandarine oranges on our trees this time of year. The children understand now that Christmas involves presents, but their enjoyment of their gifts was so childishly simple, so easily contented, so inclusive of others, that the toys were like a side dish to a meal and not the roast beef itself. They have understood gifts, though, as something to give to others. Since Christmas I have received numerous "gifts" wrapped in Lee's fuzzy blanket: a tin teacup, a wooden carrot, a cow.  But they would sooner remember the donut shop than the toys in those packages on Christmas day. And Lee still points out the place where his foot got stuck in the mud after the rain. The beach, with its gritty sand and deep trench built by Phil, is as magical to them as the Santa Ana Zoo.

Pilgrim's Progress

All of life seems so cyclical.  I exercise, grow strong, catch a cold, then try to rest, recover, and get back into my exercise routine again. Or I make disciplinary charts, I enforce rules, the children obey, peace reigns supreme. But when I put up my feet, my children turn into miscreants again.  Or I have a moment of leisure time, I find the inspiration to get things done, I multi-task while checking items off my list. As can be expected, my children foil my attempts at progress. I end up lashing out at them until I realize that I’ve put things before people. Then I collapse into tears, pray, and try to plan for more leisure time again. No one needs convincing that laundry and cleaning are cyclical. And the coming and going of generations is all so repetitive. Children grow up and have children of their own. Where the aged are now, one day we will be. How could life be anything but cyclical? We are, after all, traveling around and around the sun. What is mended wi

Library Finds: Great Books for Children

Here are the library finds for the month. As the children's attention spans lengthen, the possibilities at Whittier Public Library increase. Rose too will sit through a fairly lengthy tale without squirming. However, that is because she is a naturally contented sitter. Over the last several months, I've noticed an overabundance of stories called "So-and-so Finds a Way," and "When You Plant a Seed," and "Joey's New Sister." Again, my rating criteria is based on  illustrations, parental appeal, storyline, and whether or not my children requested them again and again. Please Mr. Panda  by Steve Antony. A quick story with simplistic bold-colored pictures for young readers ages 1-3. The story follows a panda who offers his donuts to different black and white animals. (Book Rating: 7) Journey  by Aaron Becker. Wordless book with gorgeous illustrations. Wildly creative. The story follows a bored girl who finds a magic piece of chalk. With it