Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dear Blessings

Dear Blessings,

On a beautiful spring morning, I acknowledge you as we are in a good place.  Sometimes 'good times' don't get enough credit.

So often are we inspired to write when something unhappy, tragic, or negative happens.  I've written about Dear Son's terrifying concussion last year; my dysfunctional OCD brain processing a spill inside my handbag; and the tragic acquisition and loss of our carnival fish.  Or, we write when something extraordinary, funny, or heartwarming happens.  There are lots of those sorts of Letters here, too.  But today, I am thinking about the fact that nothing is really happening (other than the fact that the tuplips I planted last fall are about to flower).  Which can be a very good thing, because it means that we are uneventful in the most optimistic way.  But as mundane as nothing happening, I have two thoughts to share about blessings.

First, I've added a few new terms to my definition page, 'Word.'.  The first one is 'Mommy Magic'.  Since my kiddos were little, I have always remedied their irritable behavior with a hug (I called it a 'squeeze').  We all know that hugs makes us feel better.  However, last year, I saw the movie Temple Grandin, and learned much about Grandin's work with autism research.  (Incidentally, this month is Autism Awareness Month).  Her invention of a squeezebox that she used to calm herself was incredibly fascinating.  This deep pressure calming concept was also featured in a Grey's Anatomy episode by a cardiologist with Asperger's Syndrome, although this particular portrayal invited criticism on the accuracy of her behavior.  Grandin believes that deep pressure is calming to people with certain sensory processing disorders, and has published clinical data to prove her theory. 

I must have internalized this theory, because now my remedying hugs to my kiddos have become full-body, tight, and prolonged squeezes.  And it works.  I cannot say if it's the extra pressure or the extra time I spend on the squeezing, but after the release, irritability level for both kiddo and myself decreases tremendously.  Last week, the kiddos and I were engaged in a sit-down, group painting activity at a play date, when DS' attention span came to -- appropriately for his age -- a dead halt.  The whining and tears began, and we were headed for a speedy downward spiral.

I took him aside and offered him some 'Mommy Magic'.  "What's that?" he asked, still with tears in his eyes.  So I squeezed him hard, for a good 15 seconds.  "Oh," he said, with tears still in his eyes, but now with a smile.  He was visibly feeling better.  We walked around and wiggled off some stored energy from all that sitting.  Days later, he came up to me and asked for some Mommy Magic, and then proceeded to explain what that is to his big sister.  I think that term will be around for quite a while in this household. 

My second thought about blessings is related to a particular Trifecta Writing Challenge I had participated in.  I wrote a poem that illustrates this nothing-really-happening post.  The prompt word was 'trail', and you can see the details here.


"Is that there a shooting star?"
Ask my boy of a line afar.
In the dimming late afternoon sky,
Over the horizon a streak I spy.

"No, I think it's an aeroplane!"
And my girl begins to explain.
"The dot in the front leads the line,
And the tufts of smoke trail behind."

"Oh," he says, quite content,
And studies the line on its descent.
She smiles, and looks at me,
And in her eyes delight I see.

I look at them in quiet amazement
My heart imprints this endearing moment.
For I hope that they will always find
Teaching and learning from each other, kind.

This is 'a take' on actual events.  This did not happen in exact words, but similar conversations have occurred between the kiddos.  Such kiddo talk of sibling kinship do take place when they are not fighting playing in harmony; they are like that to each other.  And while I take in this conversation (in my head), I think to myself: not much happened here, but so much just happened!  I'll let the words speak for themselves and just allow myself to bask in the blessing of it all.  And this brings us to the second word I added to the Word. page, 'Mommy Moment'.

But if you really know me, you don't believe me when I say there's nothing happening.  Lots of things are happening right now.  I've been busier than ever with a few projects and upcoming deadlines.  But it's nothing I can really complain about; everything is good.  So I just wanted to take a moment to declare Goodness State by sharing my Mommy Magic remedy as well as a quiet little poem that describes a calming yet powerful Mommy Moment. 

So, Blessings, I gladly count you and acquiesce your presence.  Please stick around, and never be a stranger!  Let it be known that I do not take you for granted.  Cheers!



  1. I like the picture of your tulips.

    I had to chuckle at your clarification of what nothing going on meant. I totally get it - there's always something going on when you're a mom!

    1. Exactly! Life's never a dull moment when you're a mom! I just commented on your beautiful pictures. This was taken with my phone, so it's plain as it can be. I just downloaded Instagram onto my phone, though, so I will be playing around with that a lot! I know it's not the same as a 'real camera', but the effects are so much fun. Thanks, Janna!

  2. I love it. It isn't the giant momentous things that we "think" we should write about and remember and care about, but there are so many things in life to focus on and remember and care about - and I think you summarized life with kids well. There's always SOMEthing. Enjoy those little moments, whether it's the tulips or the Mommy Magic.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Those little moments are just as important as the giant ones, especially when we are all healthy and happy to have them! And I'm very grateful.