Late Spring 2007

Dear Friends

Several months ago, we had our Chinaberry company picnic, which required that a few hearty souls camp out at the park before daybreak to ensure a good spot. Brad, single dad and our warehouse manager, and Shain, his 13-year-old son, were 2 of the good folks who gave up their sleep to be there nice and early.

By the time everyone else started to arrive, the Frisbees, soccer balls, and baseball paraphernalia had appeared and those inclined toward sports were gearing up to make a morning of it -- Shain included. He'd picked up a baseball bat and began warming up with a few practice swings when (some of us saw this happen in slow motion) his dad, schlepping some stuff from the truck, walked from behind Shain, directly into one of his swings and got smacked right in the mouth. As blood poured from Brad's mouth, we rushed to his side and quickly decided to get him to the hospital. Nearby, Shain stood stunned and shaken, devastated that he'd hurt his dad, who did indeed look to be in pretty bad shape.

Now, the parents in the group had an instinctual reaction to tend immediately to Shain, who, we all could imagine, was feeling helpless and truly awful. He was in tears as Brad stumbled to a waiting car. At the last minute, though, Brad yelled for him to come with them to the hospital, and they sped off, not returning for several hours.

Later in the day, I spoke to Brad, who, understandably, wasn't able to speak to me very well, considering the stitches and bruising. He did manage to tell me that the only 2 things that went through his mind as the lightning of pain flashed in his eyes and the sound of cracking jaw filled his ears were 1) are all my teeth still in my mouth? and 2) Oh God! Shain! Is he OK?

It struck me right then, and some of us have talked about it since, that being a parent changes so much of what we think and the order in which we think it. That Shain's well-being was what Brad thought of in the first nanosecond of his dramatic injury is fairly amazing -- unless you're a parent. For most of us, something just clicks from the moment you see your baby for the first time and sets something in motion that will, over time, change us radically and irrevocably. The parenting journey takes us on a ride that leaves us selfless in ways we would never have imagined. Whether or not Brad already knew this before being smacked in the face by his own son's baseball bat, he surely knows it now and would be the first to agree that it's awesome, humbling, and really, quite wonderful.

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

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

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

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