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The Window to your True Self

I am writing a children’s book!
I was inspired to write the story a year ago while reflecting on a fun “game” I played with my kids when they were younger to get them to take a nap. The game worked like a charm, so I decided to share it with the world.
For the past year, I have edited and rewritten the story about 110 times.
This very moment, my old pal from Frontier Trail Junior High School, Lewie Smith, is bringing the story to life with his AMAZING illustrations (check out some of his work: Lewie Smith)
We look forward to seeing Snooze on bookshelves in March 2015…just in time for daylight savings time–when our clocks spring forward and sleepy tots (and their families) REALLY need a nap to make up for that “lost” hour of sleep.
Lewie recently asked me to send him a list of all of my favorite childhood toys to include in the illustrations for our book.
I am having a BLAST reflecting on the toys from my childhood. Do you remember playing Candy Land, Care Bears and Tinker Toys? Sit-n-Spins? Easy Bake Ovens? Rainbow Brite?
Oh my goodness…such fun memories!
I never did have one of those Easy Bake Ovens, man I wanted one…bad. Maybe I will add it to my wish list this year.
All this thinking about toys lead me to ponder this question: How did I occupy my time as a child when I had no other obligations except to play?

I wrote a neighborhood newspaper. Here it is: Kids Update
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I dug this gem right out of my Snoopy Scrapbook today!
I remember running off copies on my dad’s office fax machine and passing them out to all of the houses on my block.
I am chuckling thinking about me, 20-some years later writing a blog…my grown-up version of Kids Update.

Reflecting on cheerful childhood memories is good for the soul.

It is like peeking through a magical window into your spirit…your true self. Remembering how you played as a child takes you back to a time when your actions were guided by your spirit more than your mind or the societal paradigms.
Your childhood self is your true self. Go ahead, look through that window. Who do you see?
What games did you play?
How did you spend your time?
What made you laugh so hard your belly ached?
Are there similarities to what you played as a child and how you find joy today?
I would love to hear about your reflections!

Carpool Conversation. Crickets. Shake It Off.

I am blessed to participate in our neighborhood carpool. Two mornings a week, I get the joy of transporting six of the kids in our neighborhood to school.
For 10 minutes, twice a week, I have a captive audience. Literally. So, I try to make the most of this time and impart on them some positive thought or wisdom.
This Monday, I wanted to help them to start thinking positive thoughts about the upcoming week. I asked the kids,

So, what is one thing you are all looking forward to or excited about this week?

Can you hear the chirp of the crickets?
There was silence.
Nothing.
“Oh no,” I thought, “they have nothing to look forward to!?!?”
Just then, the kindergartener of the group hollered from the third row,
“Turn up the tunes…this song rocks!”
To the blaring sound of Taylor Swift’s newest hit, Shake It Off, I had a revelation. Another teachable moment brought to me by my 5-year old.
Happiness is not found in some future thought. True happiness in life is found in BEING and experiencing and feeling 100% in THIS present moment.
Happiness is right here, right now. Kids know this (especially 5-year olds).
Watch a group of kindergarteners at recess on the playground. They are running, laughing, squealing with delight. Picking dandelions. Burying their feet in the rocks and sand. Catching bugs.
They aren’t worrying about what happened yesterday or what happens next. They are reveling in the magic of the moment.
Aha…Duh-why on Earth would this carload of elementary school kids want to waste these valuable minutes thinking about some possible event in the future when it would be better spent rocking it out with Taylor Swift?

Just when I think I am playing the role of “Mom of the Year” my kids go and show me, yet again, that I could stand to learn a few things from them.

And so, in those remaining 8 minutes on the way to school we were living in the moment. We “shook off” any thoughts about the future or the past and laughed and clapped, sang and shook with all our hearts :

I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

That’s right, Taylor Swift. It IS going to be alright!