MINE!

There is a squabble. The toddlers are fighting over the same toy. Seconds before they were each playing with their own, happily. But one looked over at the other toy and thought, ‘Hey, that’s mine. I want to play with that now.’ And she gets up to take what she believes is hers, even though the other child is playing with it.

You rush in as the responsible adult. You explain “sharing” as simply as you can, while taking the toy away. The squabble escalates…

How absurd is that concept; sharing! According to toddler’s mind, everything is his and made for him. ‘Sharing…? You adults are so dumb!’

But do we grow out of “MINE?”

Some people never do.

And it creates a unique life and family dynamics.

A family is a little community. Each has a role in that space. It is a unit that learns to work together as a whole’ as an “US” entity but it does not always run as such. Many families do not operate in an “us, we, or ours” fashion. They chose or have learned by example to initiate a “mine” philosophy. A “mine” entity distinguishes separations in the unit and hierarchy, control, and competition are the result as it runs as independent pieces rather than as a collective connective whole.

Certainly a child is not going to pay rent even though a parent supplies shelter. Certainly a stay-at-home mother cannot pay bills when her income is based on a shared spouses income. Certainly a father’s income is not earned for him solely. As you build and create a family unit you are a whole unit and how you can operate collectively and interconnectively depends on how you assert what is yours or give and share what is “ours.” A family is not independent pieces of a unit just stuck together. It is supposed to be a sharing community that everyone connects to and learns to work with and consequently loves each other.

I have difficulty when I hear adults who live in family units talk about their things as “mine.” “My” car, “my” house, “my” table, “my” bed you sleep in, “my” food you eat…referring to family members as disconnects to things actually belonging to them too and helping them thrive. It makes the member not a part of the money or object, but almost instills guilt that they are using or eating something not “earned” and have to pay for it some other way.

Have you ever heard a parent talk to a teen,  maybe on television, and say, “Don’t you dare put your feet on my coffee table…” And the teen takes his feet off. What that parent has established is that everything that is bought is the parent’s “mine.” The teen is not a part of it. Of course the teen did not buy it. But it WAS bought for the collective family unit to help everyone as a whole. The teen will not feel connected to it so he won’t care about it consequently, except for wrath for harming it and getting punished.

I grew up in a “sharing house.” Everything was collectively ours and a result of that was that we cared and loved it as our own instead of it being a “rental object” just put there with no love or connection attached. “Our” family car was not my father’s “mine.” It was “ours.” We all rode in it, we loved it, and we wanted to collectively take care of it because it belonged to ALL of us. We had a small cabin in the woods. My father did not tell us, “this cabin is “mine” and you all better like it. He bought it for “us” to share and make memories, and we did and love it and treat it with great respect. We felt that way about all of our things because it was given to us with love. There never was an intended feeling of being left out, or being disconnected in anything. Our family things were never an adult “mine’ but always intended for us all as a collective family unit; even as we built our own families. We are all family…always. And share collectively.

You may think this philosophy is absurd. If I work hard for it, I deserve to claim it as “mine.” This is so dumb…just as the normal ego-centric toddler thinks when a toy is taken from them. But ego-centric is vastly different than egotistic and independent. Aren’t we here to learn how to live together connectively.

If you think about it, the sharing philosophy, to help build families is much how God treats us as his big family and we his children. Everything HE has, HE offers to “US.” It is “OURS.” He never ever says, That’s “MINE.” “Get your eyes off my sunset.” “Don’t you dare drink all of my rain water I gave you.” “How dare you cut down my tree and build a house with it, did I give you permission for that!?” “You better eat every speck of my chicken because I can take it away when I want.”

You see…”mine” is only for toddlers…

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Mom’s!

Today is John Bonica’s Birthday!!!  You know! The guy who invented the epidural! (February 16, 1917) 

This should be on every mother’s calendar who didn’t do it “natural.”

I personally love this man and want to hug him when I get to heaven!

You?

Please take a moment of silence and send a prayer of thanks for this most wonderful human being who saved the earth by making it doable to have a second child. And allow crazy’s to wear make-up and do photo shoots during…

Women and childbirth, “Ah its-so-natural…”

until labor begins…

and boy or boy if you want to pass a large heavy bowling ball without meds…

ask a woman! (I know, I had two nearly ten pounders without John…)

It just doesn’t “feel” natural!

He is my hero three times and every Feb. 16th a holiday in my book.

Is he your hero?

Let’s celebrate!

(He can be celebrated by father ‘s too because he was also a professional wrestler; and a good one…)

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Random Acts of Kindness Week begins Feb. 11th!

Think kind…

Speak kind…

Do kind…

Feel kind…

Share kind…

Humans need kindness.Version 2

Kindness Ideas with Kids

Random Acts of Kindness

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It never has melted away…

Once upon a time on a cold snowy day four years ago, I got on my boots, hat, and gloves and walked outside in my back yard with a shovel. As an artist I was searching for an explanation to pieces of me I had lost. And I was going to create it using the frigid frozen snow on the outside to match the cold empty loss I felt on the inside…

My mother’s body died four years ago today, January 26, 2014 but her heart died April 28, 2012 when her sweetheart of sixty eight years went to heaven. I began lifting heavy mounds with a shovel, then on my hands and knees began packing the snow meditating into my creative process hoping to somehow connect.  My muscles strained from the weight of the frozen water. My body shivering. My breathing deep and rapid sent small clouds of steam that kept fogging and refogging my vision at each breath. The tall evergreens moved subtly in the wind and I could hear them whispering behind my back; I found myself looking up and around to see which was mocking me for being a grown-up “playing” in snow without a child.

Art explains without words.

It is a visual puzzle with clues and question marks spilling out to make some sort of sense of our world.

Most of the time we don’t know the message that our soul wants to surface–

but sometimes we do.

But it has to come out–somehow, someplace. 

The art piece began to take form as it turned into a snow sculpture of my recently passed mom, so very very happy holding hands with my dad, both dressed in angel-white snow but wearing actual pieces of their own clothing, I had saved.

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The piece began to take on a life of its own as my soul and their souls connected through art. My mother’s head tilted like it always did when she was photographed and her scarf fit over one ear like she always used to do, pulling it up to protect that one sensitive one from the cold.

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My father wears that smirky-smile that goes straight more than up and finally looks complete with my mom next to his side. He was always so proud he got her! They both are waving like I remember so often when we would come and go from “our” home that we loved. When I finished the last of the accessories, placing mini-jam jar lids on for buttons, I stood back in silence. I was exhausted and chilled but feeling drips of sweat between my chest and under my arms–I also felt warm. The trees were silent. It was the three of us standing there on the planet waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. So I gathered my shovel and walked inside.

I began to change out of my wet frozen clothes, put on a cup of peppermint tea, (my mother’s favorite) and get warm. As I began to do this, I missed the snow-people I had just placed a piece of my soul into. (This happens with artists and their creations.)

In the few minutes it took to change I ran to the window to make sure they were still there.

I needed them to still be there.

They were there…

What happened after this was quite extraordinary…

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When I looked out the window I noticed the shape surrounding the figures. While I was sculpting them up from the ground with tenderness and as I moved around gathering up snow, I had somehow surrounded my parents in a heart without knowing it. …Or they sent it to me. No matter, I could feel their love so expansive and genuine… They were still here not only in snow, but in spirit!

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“How strange to build snow men of your parents who have died.”

But I am not embarrassed I created this.

It has been six and four years since they left for heaven

and I notice every single day.

They are always together and when I look at this I know it is true and it makes me happy.

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Four years later I look back and see them…watching and loving us; still waving hello and never good-bye. This feeling has never melted even though in spring the snow did.

Hello back, mom and dad…I love you too—

So very glad you’re still here.

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January Blahs

The temperatures finally dropped and winter showed up.

Everything is blanketed in snow and ice and it’s burrrrrrr.

Our house smells like we had a campfire inside every room; not a great draft up that old chimney.

I have layers on…even in our drafty house. I usually wear my boys hoodies they left, just because I like to. No way am I giving them away…!

But…

I don’t always dwell here during these cold, hibernating months of winter.

I skip off in my head to my happy place with my happy people during happy times of day…

This time it’s dusk at this perfect lake.

This place takes the edge off of life…

These boys; always fun…

I feel the cool sand through my toes, the smell of pines, the nip to the summer evening air.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Summer is sleeping where I live.

But it’s always awake in my dreams.

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Did you see that?

No one is looking but you.

You just pulled a fresh batch of the most yummiest looking cookies out of the oven and smelled in the goodness, or you hit the trash can after it bounced off the edge with that paper shot at least 10 feet away and clapped your hands and hit your knee. Or you parallel parked that even the DMV would have hired you to instruct and you smiled at yourself in the rear-view-mirror. OR you were in the exact right time at the right place and slowed for the real-live turkey family to waddle across the street, and slowed traffic so no one would hurt them, cracking up, even though you were in a hurry. OR you remembered to compliment your regular coffee maker how “their” just-right-whipped-cream-touch makes your day perfect, and you both smile. OR when you were practicing your soccer shot far from the goal…barely clearing the top rim edge, and you turn and look to see if anyone else noticed…

We are stars more often then we think. 

About now we begin to hate our New Year’s resolution we made for ourselves…if we even made one. (I haven’t yet…)

The holiday thrill is long gone.

We are crabby just because it is January and well, Martin Luther King made such a difference.

What do I do except…exist. 

But that is just it.

WE EXIST!

We are stars every single day and we don’t even think about it.

Certainly don’t acknowledge it to ourselves.

Can you just hear the crowds scream and cheer, even for those little tiny things which make you think…‘Hmmm, wow, did you see that!’

‘I’m good.’

Forget those mediocre thoughts.

‘You are a STAR!’

Turn and take a bow…

even if no one is there.

We are there and we are all cheering for you!

(“WOW! YEY! WHOOO-HOOOOO! YES! YES! YES! SWEET! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! COME HERE AND CHECK THIS OUT! THAT IS AMAZING! I LOVE THIS! YEAHHHHHHHHH! HURRAY! SO COOL! WAHHHH!” STOMP! STOMP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP! HUG! PAT! breathe, sit…”phew! that was amazing…”)

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The Christmas Thermometer

When the Christmas holiday begins it is like there is a Christmas-magic thermometer with a red mercury line that rises with warmth, anticipation, fun, giving and thoughts of baby Jesus… as the holiday presses closer to the 25th.

But then,

in an instant

on the 26th…

the mercury begins to drop

and that red line of magic slowly starts to drop down

and down

and down.

The New Year celebration holds tight to one last burst of joy,

and then life

clicks back to “normal” in  a snap.

We go our way

for eleven months,

until

the magic thermometer

stirs…

and then

begins to rise once again…

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