Posts tagged teachable moments
Mommy and Daddy School: Sibling Traditions

So it started last year, around this time. Everyone in the house was ready for the endless days of summer to come to a quick close. Although story book in concept, the togetherness of all three kiddos home every day, particularly my daughters (then 4 and 6), had brought out some sharp edges and frayed nerves.

Insert flabbergasted momma.

In an effort to help my daughters see the goodness that could/should/must (?) come from this sacred childhood time together, we created Sisters Day. Our wedding anniversary is August 17, and our children enjoyed seeing the attention (AKA presents) that came with this special holiday. Not coincidentally, Sisters Day is August 18.

Philosophically, I want my children to have many wonderful memories of each other. Practically, I want a peaceful, happy home. And furthermore, who can feud when they're being celebrated?

This is our second year of celebration, and I'm not joking when I say that the girls have been asking about it all year (which also led us to create Sibling Day and now Brother's Day, too). We like celebrating.


1. Listen to each other's ideas and agree on great things to do.

Easier said than done at this age (or any, I suppose). We asked both girls to list activities they thought would be fun to do, and we narrowed it down to 2-3 that would be enjoyed by both.

M, the 7-year old, really wanted to make friendship bracelets, but C, talented though she is, at 5 does not have the fine motor skills down to weave and knot. So, that activity was axed.

C, a lover of all things princess, really wanted to watch Disney princess movies. At 7, M is kind of "too big" for these...or so she claims.

2. Everything is done together.

If we're baking cookies, both sisters are involved in the mixing, scooping, intense dough eating, and joy of the entire experience. The giggling and spills are all a part of the memory.

3. Make some only-for-this-occasion moments.

It's the idea of the special plate used only for certain holidays. Our backyard playset has a table and two benches built in, and once a year we all enjoy dinner out there together. What's the occasion? Sisters Day.

Reserving little treats like this for such a day has helped build upon the gift that having a sister truly is.

4. Catalog this for all eternity.

I'm a little snap happy on any day, but on particular events like this, I think it's so important to photograph the time together. I have the girls pose for a few sister shots, and I make sure to get candids of them together, too. I hope this tradition lasts the rest of their lives, and I think it will be amazing to look back on all of these sister celebrations through the years.

This year our Sisters Day included a trip to the zoo, the creation of a long-awaited (as seen on TV, thank you so much) Wuggle Pets, dinner out on our playset, watching Mirror, Mirror with hot, buttered popcorn in hand, and a sleepover in our tent (set up in our downstairs playroom).

I know that these days will be just a few of the millions of memories that my daughters have of childhood and sisterhood. I want them to have so many unplanned, silly snapshots of life, but I think it's okay that some of the good ones had a little planning involved...

With a little Happy Sisters Day banner stretched across them.







Pattern Play delay on Mother's Day

We take a break from our regularly-scheduled post to offer some words of celebration.

Happy Monday and belated Happy Mother's Day to Mommas and non-Mommas alike. I know that Mother's Day is a charged holiday for many women (and men) who have felt the pangs of loss, infertility, estranged mother relationships, or their own challenges with the responsibility that comes with those early words, "Mama." I pray that it was a peaceful day for you.

I definitely had some teachable moments in my own day, and it's likely to be a holiday that I won't soon forget.

All three of my kiddos had total melt downs today, all at their own distinct time, so I don't think it was a stellar mom day. And I find myself laughing with my hubby as he jokes that he hopes Father's Day passes him right by if it looks anything like this Mother's Day.

I remember clearly from my days as a teacher that my birthday was always the longest day of teaching. Appreciative students, filled with emotion, often had difficulty containing their exuberance in constructive ways, and I was typically exhausted by day's end, trying to keep a cheery face on while trying to contain some sense of classroom order. Trying, trying, trying.

Mother's Day this year was the longest day of mothering. My excited, young children (remember they're 7, almost 5, and 2) wanted Mommy's attention and created all sorts of unfortunate ways to get it. Trying, trying, trying.

And as I was standing outside (while the rest of the congregation was singing and praying) of our Mother's Day Mass with C, having the tantrum of her life, I was reminded again that mothering has so little to do with Mother's Day.

That being a mom means holding your child's hand as they plead with you to leave them alone.
That long after the carnations and pancakes and crayon wishes fade, mommies remain - waiting patiently for you to be your best, to do your best - while truly looking into your eyes and loving you through all the ridiculousness in the middle.

I am grateful to be a Momma, to be THE Mom of these three amazing little people, and I am every day, usually 3-4 times, completely humbled by it.

Thank you to all of you who mother. It's a lot different then the Hallmark nostalgia of Mother's Day, it's a lot less glamorous, and a ton more life-giving. It's hard work, and it's eternally appreciated.

Happy mothering. Keep holding hands.