Raising Sensitive Boys

Last night at dinner, the family and I had a bittersweet conversation.  The conversation was about two dear friends of mine, both of which have cancer.  It may seem strange to discuss cancer at the dinner table, but not for us.  My family talks about everything, including difficult topics.
One friend of mine is finishing up his last round of chemo today.  After six long months, his treatment will be done and he can move back into his former life.  I shared the joy I felt for his recovery.
After I shared joy, I remembered another friend’s recent diagnosis with cancer.  My happy face began to change, and tears filled my eyes.  My friend recently became a mother for the first time.  Becoming a mother, has been a dream of hers for a long time.  However, during her pregnancy a tumor was found.  After the baby was born, it was determined the tumor was malignant.  She is now battling cancer.
As spoke I knew my boys were listening.  They were quiet, focused on my words.  They did not get up from the table.   I spoke freely of my joy and concerns.  As I looked at their faces, I realized something.
I am raising sensitive boys. 
Rasing sensitive boys has been a conscious act on my part.  When I refer to being sensitive, I am not saying my boys to cry easily.  What I mean is they have the capacity of being affected or moved, by situations or people.
Since the boys were little, I have worked hard to help them understand their emotions.   Sometimes they cry when they are angry.  Other times they laugh when they are nervous.   By identifying their own emotions, they hopefully will be better able to recognize similar emotions in others.  When a person’s feelings are recognized, it makes them feel valued.  It is how I felt as I shared my story at dinner.
After I finished talking, each boy told me how sorry they were.  One by one they walked over to my side of the dining table and gave me a hug.
Raising sensitive boys, who hopefully will become sensitive men, is no easy task.  The force of a macho male society often works against my efforts.  But even though it is hard at times, I do it anyway.  Too many grown men act in ways that are insensitive.  They act in ways, that seem immune to the pain they cause others.  I do not want that for my boys.
Sharing my life and all the emotions I experience, is my way of rasing sensitive boys.  They are able to ask questions, share thoughts and express feelings about things they hear.  So far, it has worked.
After the boys left the dinner table, I sat alone for a moment.   I took a deep breath.   I realized their concern and love had given me strength.
Strength to move forward, no matter what life brings.

Lazy Cook – Homemade Play dough

The Lazy Cook blog is in the process of being revamped.  Soon I will feature other people’s recipes and have them do the cooking.  I cannot wait, since cooking is not my favorite.

My recipe today is for homemade play dough.  Years ago when I was a preschool teacher, I used to whip up play dough every week for my class.  Nowadays, I make this for my little son at home.  This simple recipe is a must for anyone who spends time with young children.

What I like about this recipe is not only is it easy to make, it is also safe for little children to take a nibble.

Homemade Playdough

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon oil

Food coloring

Directions

1.  Place flour, salt and cream of tartar into small pan.  Mix well.

2.  Place pan on the stove.

3.  In a small bowl mix water, oil and food coloring.

4.  Add water mixture to the pot.  Stir lightly.

5.  Cook mixture over medium heat, until a ball forms.  Play dough should be slightly sticky, but pulled away from the sides of the pan.

6.  Kneed to cool on wax paper.

7.  Allow play dough to fully cool before storing in plastic bag.

I have made this recipe hundreds of times.  It takes a little practice to know when to stop cooking.  Slightly sticky is the key to keeping it from being too dry.

I hope this is something you will enjoy, with the young children in your life.

Talk to you soon.

Just Maybe

The other day, my husband and I had a conversation.  It was about my career, or should I say lack of career.  I have put in applications for employment, but have not gotten results.  My impatience was getting the best of me, so I complained.

“I heard back from the parent support job.  They are not interested.  How can they reject me?  They don’t even know me.  At least get to know me before you reject me.” – Me

“Nate, come on.  Hundreds of people apply for the same job.  They select people who look good on paper.  It has nothing to do with you personally.  If they met you, they would hire you.” – Husband

“Uh huh.  Are you sure about that?  I don’t even know what jobs to apply for.  I keep changing my mind about what I want to do.  I am wasting my time.” – Me

“Why are you applying for jobs?  I thought you wanted to be available for the little guy when he enters kindergarten this fall.  Didn’t you say you wanted to volunteer?” – Husband.

“Well, yes.  I did say I wanted to be available.  I do want to volunteer at school.  I just…” – Me

Suddenly, I realized something.  I was applying for jobs I was not interested in.  I wondered why I would do such a thing.  I was applying for full-time work.  Work that required a lot of time and effort.

I thought for a moment and answered my husband’s question.

“I guess I want to know I still got it.  I would like to know if people, other than my family and friends, think I am capable of doing fabulous things.” – Me

“Oh.  Are you unhappy with taking care of the home and boys?” – Husband

“No, I  like my job.  It’s just…so many people do so much more than I.  Sometimes I feel like I am slacking, that I should be doing more.” – Me

“If you are happy, why mess with it?  So many people are not happy with their job.  You like yours.  Unless you know what you want to do, stop applying for jobs.” – Husband

“You know, you are right.  Why am I applying for jobs, when I don’t  know what I want?  It’s silly.  From now on, I will only apply for things I am interested in and enjoy things as they are.” – Me

So, that is my new decision.  Keep the status quo, unless something happens to change my mind otherwise.

Who knows what will happen?

Maybe this will be the best decision I have made in a long time.

Just maybe.

 

 

Off We Go

A text conversation between a wife and a husband.

When are you coming home?  – Wife

Packing up right now. – Husband

I am going to walk the dog.  The landscape guys did not come by today.   Will they ever get the job done?  Groan. – Wife

What happened to being there at 3?   Double groan.  This homeowner stuff really stinks.  Sell everything and buy us a real big and fancy RV, take the kids out of school and travel the country. - Husband

I’m with you babe.  First stop, Las Vegas.  We’re going to need some extra cash.  Then off we go.” – Wife

English: A Class A motorhome with the slide-ou...

Heal and Go Forward

Last night I read a meditation from the book, Your True Home, by Thich Nhat Hanh.  The book is a small, everyday read, relating to Buddhism.  Although I am not a practicing Buddhist, I enjoy reading books about the religion.

The meditation focused on how to become a positive influence on others.  It discussed the importance of healing childhood pain.

Here is an except from the meditation, titled Begin Immediately.

What I recommend for all of us is to come back to ourselves and take care of the little boy or little girl who inhabits the depths of our wounded souls.  Then we will be calmer, more understanding and loving, and the environment will begin to change.  Other people will benefit from our presence, and we will be able to influence them and our society.

The meditation relates to a conversation I had yesterday.  I was talking to a friend about my childhood.  I discussed my parent’s divorce and the impact it had on me.  As I spoke to my friend, I realized my attitude toward my childhood situation had changed.

One of the reasons for the change is because I have made a more conscious effort to ‘heal’ the child who was wounded by the divorce.   Divorce can impact a child.  Some are more negatively affected than others.

The most painful part of my parent’s divorce for me was rejection.  Although, no one personally rejected me, I grew up feeling inferior.  Most of my adult pain has been a result of seeking approval of others.

Years ago, I felt personally rejected by someone.  I could not deal with the issue.  The person was not a close friend or relative.  It was merely an acquaintance.  I began to wonder why I was so concerned about someone’s acceptance of me.   Especially since, it was someone I did not admire or know well.

I had not healed from my childhood.  The little girl inside me was still needed the approval of her parents.

After this experience, I began transforming my thinking.  It was difficult.  Convincing myself I was worthy, no matter what the circumstances, was not easy.  I looked back at the little girl I was and realized she had done nothing to deserve rejection.  The harder I looked, the more I realized  my parents had never really rejected me.   They simply were dealing with their own issues.

As I released my pain and fear something happened.  I became happier.  I became more confident.  I started to take risks, even though it meant some people would not like me.  I became more positive and less judgemental.

Last night’s meditation reminded me, no one can go forth and make the world a better place unless they are at peace with themselves.  If we want to be a positive influence on people, we must be healed first.

Forward I move.  Healing each step of the way.

G Rated Only

A conversation between a mother, a father, two teenage boys, and a little boy.

You know Sweetie, we saw the coolest A-frame trailer when we were out camping.  It fits two people and is really easy to set up.  Maybe we could get one of those, so you will come camping with us?” – Dad

“Does it have a bathroom?” – Mom

“Um, no.  I don’t think so.  But at least you won’t be sleeping on the hard ground.” – Dad

“No bathroom?  Then I would still have to pee outside, right?” – Mom

“Mom, what is the big deal about going to the bathroom outside?  How come you are the only one who cares about it?” – Old Boy

“I am the only one who does not have a penis, that’s why.  You guys can just whip it out and go.  I have to squat, pull down my pants and wipe.” – Mom

“Whoa, whoa.  Let’s keep the conversation G rated Mom.  We do have a little kid in the car with us.” – Tall Boy

“Son, I am aware of the little guy.  He knows what a penis is.  He has one.  You all do.” – Mom

Silence.

“So what did you do while we were camping, Honey?’ – Dad

One Lovely Blog Award

Well, I have news…happy news.   I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award, by fellow blogger, UNFETTEREDBS.  A big thank you to UNFETTEREDBS, for the wonderful honor.

When you nominate a blog, you are stating you admire the person’s blog and recommend people check it out.  Once you receive a nomination you must follow some simple rules.

* Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post

* Share 7 things about yourself

* Nominate 10 or so bloggers you admire

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

Here are 7 things about me.

1.  I am a Michigan native.

2.  My favorite color is yellow.

3.  I won second place, in a college Flashdance contest.

4.  I wanted to be an actress as a child.

5.  I would rather clean bathrooms than wash dishes.

6.  I have always loved being a brunette.

7.  Writing a blog has changed my life for the better.

Here are my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award. (This was hard for me. I love so many blogs.)

Teach travel play

Artsy Forager

Angriest Pear

Ghost Town Farm

Are We Home Yet?

Elephants and Rutabagas

Not Quite Old

What a wonderful surprise to be nominated.  It is the first time I have ever been nominated for anything.

Thank you.