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Mar 27

Things I’m grateful I taught my children

I mean, I’m glad they know about brushing their teeth, and that cupcakes aren’t healthy and that chewing with your mouth open is bad idea.  But there are other things – little things that make life more fun – that I’m really glad I’ve been able to instill in my kids.

1 – To find a serious joy in seeing forsythia each spring.  It’s one of the earliest blossoming bushes, it’s all over the place, and my kids scream out “I SEE FORSYTHIA!” every two minutes when we’re in the car.  There’s so much cause for celebration.  
2 – To be grateful for natural blessings – one of the things I love about Judaism is the emphasis on being grateful every day, for everything.  We say blessings all the time over the first bloom, over rainbows, etc.  The kids look for opportunities to thank God for all that we have.
3 – When someone littler than you likes you and wants to be with you – you should do it.  The older ones don’t always have a ton of patience with my toddler, but they do try hard to make her feel welcome and loved all the time.  Even when she wants them to sit and watch Little Einsteins.  For the eighth time today.
4 – You don’t have to like it – but you do have to do it.  Because let’s face it, we all have to do things we don’t want to do.  For example, I have to fold about four loads of laundry.  One thing that I keep stressing to them is that they don’t have to like it, but we all have to do things we don’t want to do.  And a smile on your face can make it a lot more pleasant for everyone, including yourself.
5 – When it’s shaping up to be a rough morning, putting on your favorite outfit is a good idea.  You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve been able to salvage a craptastic morning full of tears with a suggestion that we change into their favorite shirt.  
6 – That their hugs have healing potential.  At the very least, it’s an easy way to transmit love to another person. When I’m having a rough morning (and the favorite shirt isn’t working), Sam is always quick to wrap his little arms around me and tell me that I’m getting “Sammy Snuggles” to make everything better.
7 – Its just good policy to bring a book everywhere.  My kids all love books, they don’t always love to read as much as I’d like them too – but they are good at bringing books everywhere they go.
8 – Singing, loudly and often, is a quick way to make everything better.  I’m a terrible singer, but I still sing pretty constantly.  And so do they.  Nobody can be unhappy while warbling along to Lori Berkner.
9 – When you lose something (as I so often do), it’s entirely possible that fairies have taken it for their own amusement.  Jars of peanut butter, keys, sunglasses, Julie’s favorite pair of leggings.  All of these have been taken at one time or another and then reappeared by magic later on.  I don’t question it, don’t stress out too much over it, and have taught the kids to do the same thing.  Things show up if you wait long enough.

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