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Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Dear Friends

Being prepared is very important to me. I have an earthquake kit in my car, I schedule dental check-ups before I even receive a reminder, and if I say I'm bringing the potato salad for 4th of July, you can count on it even if I just broke my right arm. All this madness -- I mean sense of responsibility -- goes back to a Defining Moment in middle school. How I didn't notice I was the only 7th grader not in the school gym that day is beyond me, but what I do remember is one of my friends racing down the hall toward me, shouting, "Jaaaanet, you’re ON!" While I didn't have a clue what she was talking about, I quickly learned there was a 7th grade school assembly and all the candidates for the Student Body were giving their prepared speeches. Uh oh. I was running for Class Treasurer, and I was now walking up to a podium to tell my fellow classmates why I was THE girl for the job? "What exactly does the Class Treasurer do?" I wondered as I approached the podium. (Truth be told, I only ran for treasurer because I thought making posters that said "Voting for Janet Make$ Cent$" would be oh so clever.) While I doubt that any of my classmates even remember this debacle, it changed my life -- in a good way. NEVER did I want to feel so unprepared again, and so I saw to it that I wasn't. Ever.

Why I bring all this up is because I got a call from a friend last night asking me if I had a magic kit. Her third grade son informed her that he was auditioning for the school variety show the next day, and his talent was to perform magic. He didn't know any tricks, but he figured he'd learn some with a magic kit he'd gotten for Christmas but hadn't opened yet. It was the night before the audition, and he discovered the kit was broken and it was too late to buy another one. Talk about a recipe for a Defining Moment. Or not.

Now I know there's a world of developmental difference between a 3rd grader and a 7th grader, but at what point do we begin teaching our children the value in "owning" what's theirs. Whose audition is it if Mom drops everything to move heaven, earth, and Facebook to locate a magic kit at a time she'd normally be tucking her son into bed?

My heart goes out to her. As parents, we're so hard-wired to help our children, whatever the cost, but that's the kicker -- knowing when we're helping and when we're really not (at least not in the long run). How do we know if allowing them to experience natural consequences will serve them down the road or scar them?! The answer probably varies as much as our children do, yet I still look back at the Defining Moments in my life and am grateful for each one. As a parent myself, I hope I'll have the courage to allow my daughter to experience her own such moments.

P.S. I was eventually voted Class Treasurer -- in 8th Grade.




Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006




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