Friday, March 7, 2008

The blah days of February


We are all now stuck in the "blah" days of February. Well, it's March now, but until the snow melts, it's still "BLAH!" up here in Michigan. Not much to report really. We are just biding the days at this point. Taking in every experience and learning how to be better, more cooperative people.

I have no pictures, but last weekend we went to a pool party with our local homeschool group. It was LOADS of fun! We even took my nephew, Tommy, to the party (wow! I forgot how much work a baby is) and kept him overnight (I could joke about how little babies sleep, but he did surprisingly well except for a 5:30 am waking time, but I am a morning person, luckily).

My friend posted to one of my groups about all the holidays being about getting "stuff" these days and now that has me thinking

Here is my reply to her...

I tend to agree with you about "stuff", but then I think about Love Languages. One of the languages is gifts. Rog and Marti are gifts people. It doesn't have to be big stuff, but they love it. One time, I was out shopping and I got a little toy out of the quarter machine (well, I think it is fifty cents now, but ykwim) for Marti. She was absolutely ecstatic about that little toy. She carried it around all day and slept with it that night even. She doesn't carry it around every day anymore, but when it turns up amongst her toys she cuddles it and gets so sentimental. Sometimes I think it is crazy, but then I think again. Who am I to call her crazy? Wouldn't it be great if we could all get THAT much joy out of a little toy out of the quarter machine?

That reminds me of one time when we were at CiCi's Pizza and this little girl wanted a toy out of the quarter machine, but her mom said something along the lines of "You expect me to buy you that JUNK?" and the little girl said a very resolute, "Yes!" The mom said "No way" and practically dragged the girl out crying and screaming. All over TWENTY FIVE CENTS! How sad. That wasn't really related to your "stuff" post though. This next story is though...

My MIL was asking Marti this past year what she wanted for Christmas. Marti told her that she wanted to spend time with her (Marti's second LL is quality time). That was it. I am sure it seems to Marti that "grandma doesn't have time for her" because for the first 3 years of her life she went over to grandma's every other weekend. Well, MIL was STILL bugging after me to tell her what Marti wanted for Christmas. I was ticked. So, I went to one of my unschooling groups. They helped me see a different perspective, which is this. My MIL speaks (Love Languages) in gifts. If she isn't giving gifts to these kids, she doesn't feel like they will love her. Skewed, yes, IMO, but there it is. Laid out for me. I explained that to Marti about the LL and that MIL's was gifts and she understood. Now, she can appriciate the gift for what it is, an expression of her love.

As far as kids growing up thinking they are "bad" because Santa didn't bring them anything, I think that has WAY more to do with the way people parent. My mom was a single mom until I was 15. I have 1 brother (he's half as are all my siblings, but was the one I was raised with) who is nearly 8 years younger than me. We often didn't get a lot for Christmas, but we knew it was because mom didn't have the money. I also don't think she carried on the Santa thing for very long AND she got us things throughout the year AND she spent time with us.

We were also raised to believe in the "real life" Santas, instead of pretend men in red suits. The "real life" santas were people that had the gift giving spirit. A couple times there was a bag of stuff left on our porch when we were little with toys and stuff in it. Mom never figured out who it was from. A couple times, since adulthood, I have gotten cards in the mail with gift cards in them. Never signed. THOSE are the REAL LIFE santas and THOSE are what we should be teaching our kids about IMO. I let Marti believe in the Santa fantasy up until Christmas 06 when she thought Santa was going to bring her these great gifts. Well, we didn't have money that year so I told her that the man in the read suit didn't exist. I did also tell her about "real life" santas as well, but it pretty much "killed" Christmas for her. She was okay the rest of that year, but this past year, Christmas came and went without much notice to her.

Lilly doesn't believe in Santa. She came to that conclusion on her own. She also doesn't beleive in God, again her own conclusion. We think it is pretty much because she can't see them, but we will see, I guess. Either way, we aren't telling her she is wrong in either sense.

Wow! Now, I am rambling. Sorry.

I got nothing else for today. Thanks for reading!


Joydance said...

Hi Amanda,

I read a posting you had on alwayslearning and it led me, here, to your blogspot. I am responding to your writings in general.

I am a new mother of a beautiful boy who is 5 months old. Until this child entered my life, I thought I understood a lot about compassion/love (but now I realize there were depths that I had no idea existed).

I sometimes read thoughts from people about their lives and I am struck by the enormous wisdom that we have collected in this world. I love that you share your experiences and thoughts as you do. I would like to let you know that I love your "voice". It resonates with me.

Thank you very much.

Khaira (Vancouver, Canada)

Amanda said...

Thank you.

Kiersten said...

This post was really helpful to me. I had read about love languages before, but never really applied them to my in-laws need to gift. Thank you! I followed your link from AlwaysUnschooled and am enjoying your blog...

mom to Jacob 6 and Emma 4 1/2

Amanda said...

Thank you Kiersten.