My kids have been fantastic with my little injury. They've brought me food, snacks, beer, books, the newspaper, you name it. They rush upstairs to tell me how they helped clean up the kitchen and bathe their sibs. Not only are they being helpful and encouraging, but they feel great about it. It totally reinforced my theories about chores. Remember when kids did farm chores? They HAD to milk the cow or the cow would be in pain AND they wouldn't have milk. That chore was a real, valid, need. How often to kids today really see the NEED in their chores? I mean, if my four-year-old doesn't make his bed, the world won't crash in and he knows it. No one goes hungry, no one's in pain. I'm sure in his mind, he's like, what's that all about? And if my eleven-year-old doesn't start her load of laundry, she KNOWS I'll do it eventually. And my six-year-old also knows I won't let the dog go hungry but so long although I think that chore might be the closest thing to a real, valid chore experience. My ten-year-old always does her chores (and always has the most cash in the house). That's why I didn't mention her chores. So what's the word I'm looking for: MEANINGFUL? Their chores must be MEANINGFUL to be valid, and only then will they feel real pride in them. Does that mean they don't have to make their beds? No, but I have to attach it to something MEANINGFUL. "Doesn't it feel good to come home to a neat room? Doesn't a made bed make your room look nice and inviting?" And so on. Sounds hokey, but kids actually respond very well to most hokey. Until they're eleven, and they don't respond to anything, but that's another blog for another day.
AND we had a MYRACLE in our house this morning. Our current favorite middle grade author Lauren Myracle e-mailed us back!!! My YD received her new book, THIRTEEN, last week after waiting, waiting and waiting for its release. IT did not disappoint. She and I both had it read in twenty-four hours and it was every bit as fabulous as TWELVE and ELEVEN. If you haven't read these darling books, you MUST. Definitely the new Judy Blume. Each book goes from birthday to birthday, chronicling a year in the life of Winnie. Parents are well-drawn, big sister is awesome (the best big sister in children's fiction, imho), and the little brother relationship is hilarious, of course, but also sweet and tender. In one scene, he duct tapes his pants to his ankles so the snakes can't get it. (of course there are no snakes) He said if he knew the snakes couldn't get in, he could be brave and strong for the girl he likes (who has sparkly jeans). Anyway, to receive an e-mail from her was so exciting for my YD, and I will forever adore Lauren Myracle for it. What an awesome thing. We printed out the e-mail, cut it out, and taped it inside her book for everyone at school to see.
In all this lying around with my ankle, I've caught up on my critiques for my writing group and OM paperwork (regional competition this week-end--woo hoo!), but I've done very little writing. I'm seriously considering a break from novels and going back to some other kinds of writing. But, of course, I'm not doing that either! Anyway, maybe I'll go do it now. Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for all the well-wishes on my ankle! xoxox
p.s. go get Lauren Myracle's books NOW if you haven't already!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.