I love words. Witty word-plays, puns, and even the occasional double entendre. But "snark," the younger, looser brother of wit, all too often spills out. Not to mention snark's granddad, sarcasm, who carries a well-honed edge that cuts like teeth. Unfortunately, I can wield those word-swords with the best. So for about as long as I can remember, I have been trying to control the words that exit my mouth.
To think before I speak.
We were standing outside Isaac's new apartment saying goodbye when I saw it. A tear. Welling up in his eyes. Then I realized they were streaming down his sister Grace's face, and puddling in Lydia's eyelashes. The dam broke and I declared I couldn't leave knowing he still needed trash bags. This all took place yesterday after we drove our youngest son to his new apartment near the campus of Virginia Tech. Recently accepted as a transfer student into the Engineering program, he is ready to make his mark in and on the world. But I'm not. I never really am ready. Even though I've done it 5 other times. It just doesn't get any easier.
It’s not every day you get an education about raising diligent and cheerful kids by someone laying floors in your home, but today I did. Jim is not only a friend, but an incredible contractor, builder, and cabinet maker. If you can envision something, he can build it. Right now Jim is building an apartment in our basement for my parents, who have already moved in with us since their house sold quickly. And this week, during the day, we are watching grandsons, Blake, who is 3, and Cayden, who is 9 months. We always have a houseful. Today Blake was more than intrigued by all the construction and at first stood quietly in the doorway, watching the flooring go down. Before long though, Blake was in the room chattering away, asking questions about what they were doing. The workers are great guys, 2 are Jim's sons, and were more than happy to throw answers and questions right back at him. Then I heard Blake in another room. I went in and found Jim and Blake sitting on the floor figuring out how to start the flooring in that room. Jim had Blake handing him screws as he put down the first board. When they finished, Jim gave Blake the box of screws to carry as he said, “Come on Blake, we have work to do!” And Blake cheerfully trotted after him. Jim gets it.
Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your child? My husband and I had the first of our 8 children in 1984 and our youngest in 2002. We've been married since 1980 and we are always learning new ways to engage our children. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't, or ask me a question.
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