"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, December 9, 2016

Am I My Brother's Shopper?

I took the boys shopping today. This is our Dollar Store Christmas outing, to do their one, big, annual shopping extravaganza of giving. They have pocket money that they are allowed to buy things for themselves with throughout the year...but that money is all virtual and deducted and credited to them via little tallies on their Daddy's ever-spooling spreadsheet. Its pretty much all spent on junk food impulse purchases, Super balls and Pokemon cards. This money, is handed to them in cash...they each get five dollars....that's a dollar for each brother and then three other dollars to divide use for other gifts as they see fit (one for Mommy, one for Daddy and one for the family, two gifts for the kids to share and one for the parents, three other gifts the whole family can enjoy together....etc.) I put very few limits on what they buy and we can take as much time as they like in the shopping process. I did tell them no Playdough this year (light gray rental carpets in 80% of the house) and I also put the nix on the idea of giant knife with blood painted on the blade. I did however, allow the purchase of more Nerf action than I have the nerves to really enjoy.

The boys hem and haw, sometimes confer with each other in harried whispers, sometimes ask my advice and sometimes refuse any counsel. After they have selected what they want, I go over their plan with them privately while the siblings look the other way and talk amongst themselves. I ask them to tell me specifically who each gift is for, so that they can be sure they have it all figured out and that there are no double buys or accidental misses. I add no feedback or comments but simply make sure that they are sure they have everything they want to buy. There is no buying for yourself, although you are allowed to tell Mommy in furtive whispers if something catches your eye and is your burning wish for Christmas....it may get passed on to other shoppers who are stuck for ideas.

Once all decisions are made, we take the purchases up front and cash is handed out to each kid (I cover all tax and unexpectedly higher prices) and they wait in line with their things. They are coached through putting their goods on the conveyer, adding the divider between them and the next customer and waiting at the register for the cashier to ask for their money. I have them take the change and ask the cashier to count it back to them for good measure. Then they put their receipt into their own bag, thank the cashier and move over to the door to wait while their siblings complete their purchases.

Its mega fun for the boys to make such big adult purchases and to feel that they have such sacred power to surprise others and bring a gift home of their own choosing. Some years there have been unexpected squeals of joy over the selections once they are unwrapped....I am sometimes astonished at the way a sibling knows just the right thing to delight their brother. Its also such jolly fun to see a kid restrain himself with sighs and wishes from getting a toy he really wants and instead buy one for his brother because he knows his brother would also love it....and then on Christmas morning watch them realize that they bought each other the same longed for item. What a wonderful lesson in giving and the joy that there is in restraint and the deliciousness that there is in allowing space in our lives for other people to be good to us, not only to meet our own needs privately.

So, now we have to put the tree skirt down! Its all wrinkly and I meant to iron it up over the weekend and get it down but I forgot. Now its time to get serious....there are things that have been earnestly wrapped but little boys and labeled with little phonetically spelled tags in determined, wobbly writing. These are worthy presents, every year I'm glad I do this....even when the customers in line behind us are sighing dramatically and looking at their watches, and Pom has crawled under a store display for chocolate santas and pouted that he was going to live there forever. Even then. This, is a great tradition.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Poetry Friday: A Morning Poem

Happy Poetry Friday.....on Saturday in the wee hours.

I was out late with lady friends and am just now getting home, with an insistent poem forming on the tip of my tongue. So, here I am. Happy Weekend! Happy Poetry!

Poetry Friday is a group of poem sharers and authors who take turns making a giant leaf pile of verse to jump into with your warm coffee mug on Saturday or Sunday morning. Everyone pitches in poems that they love or poems they have written and someone takes a turn hosting the list of collected links and together we make a beautiful, literary village. I love the inspiration of being "around" other creators, I love the accountability of a place to share my stuff and a scheduled time for having something ready, I love also love the interest there is in reading through all these ideas and styles and eras of writing. I've read poems in this group which have left me dumb and deeply moved and poems that have made me laugh out loud. I sometimes share the ones for children with my boys and I often bookmark some to come back to or send them off to someone I think will enjoy that particular piece.

Have a gander....its a lovely kind of festival to wander through. This week our host is Brenda Davis Harsham who writes at Friendly Fairy Tales.

Morning Lark
She drooped over her water glass
On the bar between us.
9 o'clock was a limit.
It was pointless to sit awake on
Dark winter nights, cotton-headed
And dull, when there was only t.v.
To be conscious for.
9 o'clock was the end.
She'd rather be up at crisp o'clock
The world glittering at her feet
The cotton of the night before
Lifting off into the pale, clear sky.
There would be hot coffee
Running in holy rivulets off her desk
And a To Do List of sparkling assignments
Snapping at her saucily,
Her bright feet high-stepping
The jig between laundry and kitchen
No drooping in sight.


Friday, November 18, 2016

What's Fueling My Fire....

           Its great to share ideas and to inspire each other with both the thoughts and growth we are experiencing but also with the raw idea of BEING inspired. We should be looking around us for stuff that makes us feel astonished and amazed and full of answers and energy. Please, allow me to go first....
Here's a little peek into my resource room at the moment. These are things in my world that are filling my tank, pushing my edge, giving me ideas and handing out delicious mental gymnastics: