Midsummer 2006

Dear Friends

At dinner the other night some friends were telling me about a birthday party they had given their son several months ago, when he turned eleven. They held the party at a local pizza parlor and had pizza, soda, and games for all the kids. They also mentioned that a couple of the children had shown up without a gift. My first thought was that maybe these kids didn't have the money to buy presents. My friends said no, that wasn't the case -- these kids were in fact comfortably well-off.

All the adults at the table commented on the nerve of parents to send their kids to a birthday party with no gifts. How tacky. How strange. How weird. Weren't they embarrassed? Didn't they feel awkward showing up with no presents for the birthday kid? Suddenly, Brian (the birthday boy) looked up from his dinner and quietly said, ''Hey, they didn't have to bring me any presents to come to my party.'' And just like that, we were all silent. Out of the mouth of babes...

How quickly we lose sight of what is important in life. To Brian, his party wasn't about presents; it was about getting all his friends together to have fun and play and celebrate his turning eleven. He didn't care a bit about who brought him what.

I thought that was so refreshing -- so sweet, selfless, and pure. Isn't that how we want our kids to be and how we try to raise them? It was the adults, the parents, who were taken aback at the lack of gifts, not the child. I was just amazed at how this all played out and it gave me food for thought for days. It was Brian's innocence and simple joy at being with his friends that made his birthday special for him -- not the gifts.

We do our best to teach our kids right from wrong, how to be decent human beings, how to love and honor others, but occasionally we can get off track a bit. As we spend time with our kids this summer, let's try to remember what the important things are and how to truly celebrate life. There is so much we can learn from our children about what really matters!

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

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

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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