Thursday, January 1, 2009


Last night we had fondue (cheese and chocolate) on a blankie on the living room rug as a way to bid adieu to 2008. We do this occasionally, and it's always lots of fun.

Before we began eating, we went around our little circle (two kids and moi) and said what we had enjoyed about the year. Both boys said they enjoyed field trips. I told them I had enjoyed field trips, our trip to Spain and being with Pat and meeting Pau and everyone else, and our time together at Meadowood, and the new friends we've made this year... welll, I went on and on, as adults often do (I also seem to have a longer term memory than 6- and 7-year-olds).

Then we were to say what we loved about the other people. Tanner said he loved Ben for cleaning up his (Tanner's) messes, which was a really nice acknowledgement (because Ben really does clean up more than his share). Ben said he loved Tanner for always sharing with him (and it's true, Tanner has always had a sharing heart). Both boys told me they love me for homeschooling them (thank you, God). I told Tanner that, of all the guys I know, he is most likely to come up and kiss me (true), and I love his affection. I told Ben that I love the way he's always willing to help me when I'm stuck and yell his name - he comes running and helps every time. Then I said grace, and we began our dipping.

Ben bawled. He sat there for about ten minutes crying. I couldn't figure it out.

When he could finally speak, he said he was crying because of what I said. I told him it was all true, he is a tremendous helper boy and I really appreciate it. Then I said that maybe I don't tell him often enough. Ben is very high on the emotional and expressive scale, hot and cold, and perhaps I need to give him more warm fuzzies.

I listened to a webcast the other day about how we need to learn to honestly tell people how much we appreciate them - it can be so good for everyone involved. I never thought I had been shorting my own kids in telling them just how much I appreciate all they do. It is a truism that my life would not be the same without them; I also consider them to be the best-behaved kids I know their age.

So we will begin doing our appreciation circle every week. No sense in keeping it till year end.

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