Tuesday, February 27, 2018

{A Tale of Two Walks} #sol18

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 

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A Tale of Two Walks A Tail of Two Walks

A new dog enticing us to walk “C’mon Harley.” Oh, what’s that?
Strolling through the neighborhood “No, Harley.” A stick!
Waving hello to neighbors outside “Drop it, Harley!” A bark chip!
Looking closely at each house “COME. ON. HARLEY.” STOP!
The front door, the landscaping “Let’s go, Harley.” What’s that smell?
Picking up the pace “Almost home, Harley.” Grass.Grass.Grass.
Does she think she is a sidewalk hoover? “Harley. No!” A pebble!
Around the corner “Yucky, Harley.” Spit-it-out. Yucky.
And back home Sigh. Ah, home.






Tuesday, February 20, 2018

{time together} #sol18

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My twin daughters usually do everything together. To be honest, it makes life a little easier for us.  However, I am learning that it isn't always feasible and it's not always the best choice.

For example, think about school. I thought it would be great to keep them together.  One teacher, one set of expectations, same homework. My husband disagreed. The girls reside in separate classrooms and it has been a positive experience for both. They have truly blossomed as little people and students with different teachers and new friends.

After school activities and sports is another "team" approach. The girls have agreed on trying ice hockey, dance, gymnastics and soccer. We stuck with gymnastics and soccer. Recently, one of my daughters moved up a level in gymnastics. For one session I kept her together with her sister because it was easier on our schedule. But the next time we were ready to sign up, I didn't want to hold her back. So, we agreed to separate. Again. And this extended our evenings at the YMCA from 5 until 7:45 pm. And I still had to think about dinner and homework.

Yet, again, I'm surprised by the benefits of this change. First of all, the girls are getting what they need to improve in their skills at gymnastics. Second, this provides me with one-on-one time with each girl. We spend our time together at the cafe, eating a light dinner, and talking. Without sister interruptions. Then we read together, do homework, and play a game. Then it's time to switch. The other one goes to gymnastics and then it's my time with my other daughter.

This is my favorite night of the week. Life slows down and the time with each girl is special. I have had many parents tell me to spend time with each child independently, but sometimes the schedule doesn't allow for that! We are a family that lives life together!

But now I'm seeing the opportunities for conversations and special moments. Our goal is to incorporate more time with each child alone -- they need this as much as we do! It must be exciting to be a twin, but it also provides its own challenges. Like never getting away from your sister!

Time together. Isn't that what all kids want anyway? More than anything else? Time together. And it is so worth it.





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

{giving love} #sol18

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It was a moment I couldn't let by me.

I met Jan when the girls were in kindergarten. They attended an after school program and she was one of the teachers. They loved going and I was thrilled they were happy to spend their hours after school there. Jan made their time special and fun.

Due to our move, we transferred our girls to a new school and a new after school program. Our daily hellos with Jan ended. However, strange as it may be, we were in need of a new hair cutter. Through a conversation with my girls, I learned that Jan also cut hair.

So, we no longer see Jan after school, but now every couple months when we need our hair cut. We chat about the girls' old school, friends, and our connection with Willow Creek Church. She occasionally visited, but this connection led to more conversations about church and God.

Fast forward two years. We were due for another cut, so I sent a text looking for a time over the long weekend.

I was shocked at her reply. She was in a dark season: Her son almost lost his life and her husband left her.

I sat and wondered: What could I do for her? How can I make the pain go away? What could I say? What could I do? For days, I thought and pondered and prayed.

Saturday arrived, the day of our haircut appointments. I got dressed for the day and the last accessory I placed around my neck was my "Giving Key" necklace with the word LOVE engraved on it.

I heard the whisper. I felt the nudge. But could I? Don't I still need my one little word wrapped around my neck to remind me that I need to love myself?  I grabbed the bag the key was packaged in, just in case.

We arrived at Jan's house and I hugged her tight. She listened to our stories and updates and then led into her stories. Heartbreaking. I listened. That's all I could do. That's all she needed. Someone right now to listen. Her son survived and is doing amazing. Her relationship with her husband remains strained. Life is different.

As I was getting my purse to pay her, I saw the "Giving Key" bag with the explanation. The moment felt right.

"Jan, I have something to give you. I try and live by a one little word, instead of resolutions, for the year. My one little word this year is LOVE. I also have a key with this word on it as my reminder every day to love myself and others. This key is a "Giving Key." When I believe someone needs this word more than me, I pass it on. And right now I want you to feel love because you are loved."

Jan had tears streaming down her face. She jumped up and hugged me and whispered in my ear, "I feel more love than you will ever know. Thank you. I will never forget this."

It's bittersweet to let go of my word ... but it felt so, so right giving away love.