this week…

July 11, 2012

actually this week…this is a first. …some vacation moments.

rest…

July 7, 2012

Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest. -Ashleigh Brilliant

big hits on vacation so far… palm trees (kids are fascinated), actual TV (we only have Netflix at home) and big fluffy beds that you can jump on…this crew is easy to wow.

Hoping you can find rest today…it is more important than I realized.

There is kindness there.

this week…

June 18, 2012

well, last week, but you know…

Don’t forget the Summer Kindness Challenge for Kids starts today! It’s a week of kindness and family love for our Dads. Would love to have you join us!

I didn’t know…

June 17, 2012

last year’s Father’s Day gift

I knew you would be a good father, you were playful and kind…

but I didn’t know how tender you would be…

how you would see things about them I couldn’t see…

how wise you would be about all the parts and stages of growing up…

how deeply connected they would be to you…

how you would ground our family, be the foundation of love…

how your integrity would guide us…

how each child we had would make me love you even more…

just how proud and honored I would be to be partners in loving these dear people together…

happy father’s day Jorge

“How did it go? Are you okay?” I asked as he walked into the waiting room.

“It was okay, it was definitely weird, but I’m okay.” he replied.

The lovely woman lead me back her office to hear the results. She was extremely gentle and kind as she explained exactly where he fell on the bell curve.  Careful to express his strengths and gingerly tell me the places where growth might be needed. It was an intelligence test.

I finally relieved her.

“Dr. _________, I have to tell you, I totally appreciate what you do but I really do not care about this test AT ALL. I just want him to feel loved and be kind and grateful.” I said.

“Ohhhhh, well that is music to my ears.” she replied. She looked a little shocked and delighted at the same time.

…and a few days later, it was time for an awards dinner for this same boy who called the intelligence test weird, a lovely award…the only in his school. Awards are sort of a mixed bag because the truth is, you love your kid and are hella proud even if no one ever gets a plaque with their name carved in it, or a paper saying how great you are or how hard you worked. …and then there are moments when awards hold the space to celebrate the part of your kid that makes him or her special or dear.

…but that day I looked around, he seemed unaffected by the accolade…and yet more touched when Jorge helped him tie his tie, then held his face and kissed him…right in the middle of all the grouchy chaos of getting the family dressed up and out the door on time.

…when his brother turned and looked at him with wide eyes of pride every time they congratulated the honorees as if to say, “they are talkin’ about YOU” during the ceremony.

…when his Marmie bought a plane ticket to come see his moment, because she just does that…even if it means she has to work double the hours at her job.

…when it is more exciting to get ice cream/yogurt after than it was to get the actual award. The place is rad and seems the more appropriate place to celebrate any way….more like us.

…when your mom insists on taking a picture with you because she has none…and you know it will mean something to her (and you) when you are old. …and you even let her hold you tight, and too long.

…when your dad wears his bad ass sunglasses and lets you try them on and you imagine what it feels like to maybe be like him some day.

…and you forget what was ever said at that ceremony, or that award but you remember the family pride and deep love that was held for you…and how weird that intelligence test was.

love me like this…

June 2, 2012

“Sooooo, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked cheerfully.

“Ummm, nothin’.” he replied.

Oh my lord. This has been his answer for every birthday and Christmas for at least the last 20 years. And I never listen to him, and then there were the years where I painstakingly listened for clues on which electronic gadget I should buy only to have him buy it for himself 2 days before the holiday.

I still love to argue this maddening topic but I kept it cool.

“Well…how about a backyard party, ya know, just a few people…” I said. Inside my head this meant a Pinterest worthy garden party with 5 different amazing salads, cheeses I can’t pronounce, an insane wine I know nothing about and beef tenderloin or something else ridiculous.   And by golly, there would be a shockingly beautiful table with meaningful touches at every turn…and dancing and sparklers to close the evening…you know, like a wedding but for a guy, on his birthday.

“Yeah, like burgers and beer? You know we have that giant blue plastic bucket, it’s good for beer and we can use the tiki torches. I just don’t want you to, you know, be all stressed out and stuff. ” he replied.

“ME? Stressed out before a party?!! NOoooo….” I laughed and he hugged me tight.

Okay, I’m gonna do it, I’m actually gonna give him what he wants…yes,  I can do that. Well, almost. I started to Pinterest, just a bit and realized it was pointless.  I could settle on pulled pork and beans, corn and slaw,  and summer beer…but I couldn’t totally get rid of pretty.

I spent all day cleaning up the secret garden, and set a table with the colors of his new company and a large picture of he and Lucy, wishing I could put little story starters or notes of love for Jorge at each place setting…but I didn’t, and I didn’t even buy a cake or presents. I only got the slightest bit stressed at the end when our friends started to arrive and I still hadn’t showered.

He walked outside, summer beer in hand.

“Soooo, what do you think?” I asked.

“It’s great babe, it kinda looks like  I died, but I like it!” he said as he looked at the table with the giant picture.

And it did, it totally looked like he died.

“Oh Jorge Salgado, everyone should know how much they are loved BEFORE they die!”

he laughed…and even in my feeble attempts to love him how he wants to be loved I can only almost get it right…

…and yet this  dear man who needs no fan fare, only a cold beer on a sticky night, yummy food on paper plates, kids crawling on his lap and leaving to chase fireflies, a good razzing or story and his family and friends close…it’s all he’s ever wanted and needed to feel loved.

…to be loved like this.

my birthday love song for you my partner and friend:

Are you a birthday kind of person? Do you like them big and grand or quiet and meaningful? Tell me in the comments, I’m taking an unofficial poll. or even better, do you have some one that you care about that you are stumbling through trying to love them right?

ALSO!! Hey RVA friends, I just hid one of these in the back sleeve of the DVD copy of The Sound of Music at Westover Hills Library! If you find it, it’s yours! But take a pic and send it to me at patience@kindnessgirl.com!

let summer begin…

May 26, 2012

Jack was beside himself as he saw his first lightning bug of the season the other night. And speaking of lightning bugs- do you call them fireflies or lightning bugs? …I can’t decide which is more magical these days- lightning or fire! (feel free to weigh in)

There may not be enough money for a pool membership around here, but by golly, there will be outdoor movies, and smores, and shadow games and Adventure Time, and popcorn! Jorge had a lovely techie hook up and scored a very old projector but as long as it plays the The Muppet Movie, I think we are golden.

(AND we figured out it also serves as dance party maker via you tube videos!)

Spill it friends…tell me your Summer on the Cheap ideas in the comments! …and your suggestions for an outdoor movie (both grown up and kids movies- not necessarily together)…AND lightning bug or firefly?!!