|Or "Thank You Day" as the kids have dubbed it. |
Check out 8 Days of Greatness here.
Yesterday we centered our thinking on the concept of kindness. The kids had so many great insights - I expected them to list things like being nice and helpful, but they also stressed that it's all about making someone else feel good. Makes sense to me! They also said it feels nice to be kind.
We made an effort to use "kind voicecs" all day, which frankly is not as easy as it maybe should be, but certainly it's a worthy goal. They managed to reign in a few bickering sessions. Maybe most interesting, though, is that one of these kids is having a hell of a time right now figuring out his place in the order of things, as Mary Oliver would say. He's too big for this and too little for that and is quite sure that certain people are always mad at him and etc. It's been a really difficult period with him, and we talked about how important it is to try to assume kindness. It's all too easy to slip into victim mode when we're faced with an emotional phase, and I tried to (clumsily) tie this idea into the concept of kindness. We'll see.
Anderson decided to send a handmade card to someone in our family who has been undergoing some health problems lately. He thought it might make her feel better to get this cheerful card in the mail and I think he's totally right.
Today it's all about gratitude. We're pretty good about maintaining a gratitude practice - basically just sharing some things we're grateful for every day or so. It can help to balance some of the seemingly endless grousing that happens here sometimes. The kids picked out thank you cards for their awesome piano teacher (one of the cards is really for a sports coach, but David had a strong argument for why she's exactly like a coach, so there you go). She's been so good about meeting them right where they are, and they've both made big strides this year, piano-wise and perseverance-wise.
As for me, I'm thankful for more than I could ever articulate. I'm thankful for a husband who is a partner and my best friend always. I'm forever thankful for second chances and new starts, for things that last and for an increasing knowledge about when to let things go. I'm thankful for my family, near and far, for friends who have been there always and who have come and gone during other seasons of my life. Mostly I'm just thankful to wake up, plant my feet on solid ground and trudge through the daily grind. My life is not a postcard, and I'm thankful for realizing long ago that a postcard life is not the ideal.
And I'm especially grateful to the Dulle family, who decided it would be worthwhile to lead our community in a week(+) of reflecting on these core ideas - ideas that can drive people to be better and to do more good.