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Happy heart

Mythankfulboy did not feel especially well last night.  He came into my 67 degree room and asked if the heat was on.   He didn’t seem to have a fever, but definitely had a cough developing.  He doesn’t want to miss school, though.  In middle school he would have wanted to go to school for social reasons; in high school he doesn’t want to miss the coursework.

When he was ready for bed he popped his head into my room and said goodnight with a wave.  I said, “Woah woah woah – where are you going?”  He said, “Oh yeah!” and came in and sat down, saying, before his fanny hit the chair, “I’m thankful for DLC (something to do with an expansion of the video game Destiny), and that you picked me up from school today.”   He then stood up as though to leave, and I told him to wait for my contribution.  He stopped, and walked over to lay his hand on my arm and listen.  I told him I was thankful for getting a few things accomplished, both at home and for work.  I thanked him for, earlier, in the afternoon, turning his frustration at being asked to leave his game into helping me work with a happy heart.  He grinned, winked, and left the room to go to bed.

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Winter and flipping the switch

Day three of our Advent calendar asked the question, “Do you like winter?”   Mythankfulboy’s response was, “Yes and no”. He answered yes because he likes the cold and not the heat of summer, and because he likes snow and days off from school. He also likes winter because it contains Christmas, and during Christmas he gets to see his extended family, this year, down south.  He did note that sometimes it seems like we say too long, and he would like to have a Christmas at home, but he says it doesn’t feel like that when we’re there, just when we get back.  He answered no about liking winter because he doesn’t get to be outside much, and it is the only season without baseball. Momma likes winter for this reason, just because she needs a break!

I am happy to report that B came home from school today a different kid.  He had “flipped the switch”,  as we called it when he was younger, and came home with a happy and giving heart, ready to finish decorating the tree, happy to help with dinner, and asking when we could go shopping for gifts for his teachers.  And he gamed less without being asked.  I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.  I’m still breathing a heavy sigh of relief.  I am also happy to report that I did better, as well. I kept it light, I kept it thankful, I threw in the nostalgia that comes with the season, and I was (we were) much happier for it.

Plus the tree is done.  No more baggage…

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Aaaaaah!  Would you believe I managed to have a can of old paint spill all over the hatchback of my car today?  What a freakin’ mess!  Mythankfulboy arrived home from his dad’s on the very tail end of the cleanup, and after having a good laugh and checking out my new phone, he joined me in the cleanup.  After about 30 minutes of it, I realized that he hadn’t batted an eye at helping, so I turned to him and said, “Honey, thank you so much for helping me with this mess, and for doing it with a happy heart.”  He said, “Sure!” without really even thinking about it.  My friend KS would say, “That’s what love looks like.”

Dinner, showers, laundry, packing up for tomorrow…. and then the chalice lighting.  Returning to his bedside after a hiatus of chalice lightings in my room, B said he was thankful for the three day weekend.  I said, “Happy Indigenous Peoples Day”, and he said, “I thought it was Columbus Day”.  So, I explained what an apparently horrible person Columbus was, and that we could consider Columbus as having “discovered America”, working from a European viewpoint, or as a conqueror, as the folks who were already here and were unfortunate enough to cross his path would view him.  I didn’t preach, I just explained the growing shift in viewpoint.  As for my offering for the chalice, I said I was thankful to live in a country where we can revisit history and decide whether or not we agree or disagree without fear of reprisal.  B yawned, so I kissed his head and said goodnight.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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And you’re beautiful

I had a brief reprieve from working every evening and every weekend day, but I’ve had to return to it.  It’s tiring, and I always notice the toll it takes first when I don’t find myself able to post about our evening thankfulness ritual.  That’s a shame, surely, but we do always do the chalice-lighting itself, which is the most important part.

In the last several days, we’ve been thankful for everything from shovelable snow (versus snow to your waist) to good neighbors, from school delays to a three-night History Channel documentary on Samuel Adams and his rabble rousers, from Crossfit to the new YMCA in town.  Mythankfulboy has made me proud enumerable times, but, in particular, for stopping gaming with a happy heart to go out and help a neighbor shovel her drive before the sun set, and for helping a different neighbor with letting the dog out when she had to work late.  He also melted my heart when, as we turned a corner towards home in the car at dusk one evening, he said, “Momma, the sun on your face makes you glow, and you’re beautiful.”

I rewarded his shoveling by knocking $5 off of a sum he owed me.  I do this intermittently, because I want him to be rewarded, but I don’t want him to expect a reward every time he does something good.  I made sure he knew it was not only for doing the work, but for doing it with pleasure (what we call a “happy heart”).  Plus, I happen to know, as a developmentalist who works with kids with learning differences, that intermittent reinforcement is the most powerful (as my friends say, he never really had a chance to be bad…).   When he said I was beautiful, I gave an involuntary “you’re the sweetest thang” face, and then I screwed it up in a goofy face and said, “How about now?” as a car passed by, the driver staring at me.  B waited until the car had passed, chuckled, and said, “I just looked at the guy like, I don’t know, man.”

Beauty abounds in our hearts and our actions.  Most of our actions, anyway.  May it be so.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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