Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Coco #SOL17

     Monday evenings are not ideal for going to see a movie in the theater, but there we were- my son, daughter and I, heading to the movies to see Coco last night. Alex's school's SEPTA was sponsoring the night and we attended last year, the night after Election Day, to watch Trolls. I remember still feeling numb but Trolls ended up being a fun distraction and still a movie we watch and rewatch often. 
      I know there's been an outcry about the Frozen short (20 minutes- not so short) that runs before Coco, but Anna and Elsa are two of my daughter's favorites so it was enjoyable to see them again. I thought it was cute and not nearly as obnoxious as the tweets I read about it. 
       I didn't know much about Coco before attending the movie, but I must say I loved it. There were themes of following your heart, family first, and fame at what cost. As someone who likes to picture Heaven as a big dinner party where my loved ones who have passed are all sitting together, eating spaghetti, I loved the idea of generations who have gone before visiting on the Day of the Dead. 
        I might have sobbed at the end. 
     We got home close to 9, which is way late on a school night, when pajamas need to be put on and teeth brushed, too, vitamins distributed and bedtime stories read. But I'm glad we went. My son said it was the best movie he's ever seen, and he's a kid who loves to watch movies. 
       Monday night movie going isn't that convenient, but it sure is memorable. I'm so glad we saw Coco and highly recommend it! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pancakes Don't Have Feelings #SOL17

"Pancakes don't have feelings," my four year old daughter, Megan, chides me as I wash off the dishes.

I had just tried to guilt her into eating more piece of the pancake cut on her plate. I probably said something to the effect of, "Oh, the pancakes all want a turn to be eaten! They feel sad you aren't eating them." 

Megan was onto me, but assigning feelings to inanimate objects is something I've been doing my whole life. My sister's toast at my wedding referenced how I used to cry when she would kick pinecones at the park because I thought she was separating them from their families. (Ahem. I really thought that.) Oh, how she would gleefully kick the pinecones while saying, "Oh, no, my baby!" and "Mama pinecone, where are you?" I would cry, and scurry to put the pinecones back to where they sat before they were disturbed.

Megan would have said, "Pinecones don't have feelings." 

And so, they don't. But what if they did? What if we thought about everything we encountered as having feelings and a story? 

Last night I read Megan the brilliant book A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young. It's such a clever book and Megan really gets it, laughing belly laughs at some of the scenes. But, also, we could empathize with how the goat (I mean unicorn) felt at certain parts. Reading the book and feeling sorry for "Sparkle" reminded me of the pancakes and the pinecones and thinking everything has feelings. 

I got that from being a reader. Reading has made me a person who can feel the pain of a goat trying to be a unicorn. Reading was responsible for making me imagine pinecones wanted to stay with each other on a park path. Reading helps you see the story in everything you encounter. And knowing a person's story is the first step in showing compassion and kindness. 

What I'm passing onto my children isn't great culinary skills (I microwaved the frozen pancakes) or a myriad of other talents I don't possess. But I am passing on a love of reading, of belly laughing when a goat trying to be a unicorn lets out a little toot, and understanding that all things and people have stories. We can let those stories touch our heart and change the way we live. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Love is #SOL17

Love is
sitting on the floor
inside a steamy 
indoor pool
because your 4 year old
taking swimming lessons
is afraid and
wants you there.

Love is
sitting on a chair
on a rainy, gray soccer field
when you have 
stacks of work to do
because your son
loves when you come
to his games.

Love is 
resisting every little
Halloween candy
and all the donuts
and treats left
in the faculty room
because you deserve
to look and feel 
your best.

Love is
calling your representative
signing petitions
and voting
because you cannot
stand by
while people are gunned down
in schools
in churches
in movie theaters
in playgrounds
at concerts.
Love is wishing 
you could do more.

Love is 
saying no to your child
because another cookie
or another tv show
or another toy
will be bad for them
even though they 
don't understand that
and you seem mean. 

Love is 
making them say "thank you"
and making them
brush their teeth
and making them
put their own shoes away. 
Love is 
helping them be
the best people 
they can be. 

Love is
bringing the shopping cart back.

Love is 
listening when you would rather talk.

Love is
making the phone call instead of texting.

Love is
knowing your heart
could be smashed
into million pieces
by life's unpredictability
and cruelty,
but loving anyway
truly
madly
deeply
because what would
life be
without love? 

Love is
courage
hope
kindness.

Love is
needed.