Writing 101: Unlocking the Mind…

Disciplining kids is hard work. The Beans reminded me today of days when they were young. JuniorBean was very, very funny. When he would get in trouble and get a time out, he would go into his timeout for two minutes. At the end of the time, he’d come out pouting and mad and say, in his mad little boy voice, “You hurt my feelings!” These days, they rarely need discipline in a way like that. Occasionally they have their electronics taken away, but mostly they listen the first time and do as asked.

We were talking about the old days because they had observed parents with a different parenting style and had been treated to a full on tantrum. The tantrum was coming from a 5 year old who, they thought, ought to know better. They then asked whether at the same age they had exhibited the same types of behavior. I assured them that by that age, we were beyond tantrums to get our way and none of them would have hit their Baba because they didn’t win a game. But it did lead them to think about that and how the discipline process works.

I expressed to JujuBean that with pets (which they don’t understand because we don’t have one), you aren’t training the pet as much as you’re training yourself. Kids are a lot like that. It’s really about training yourself as much as training the kids. She didn’t really catch my meaning, but I’m certain we’ll have further conversations about it.

We’re currently visiting our other home, Jordan, for a week. It has been interesting seeing what things have remained the same and what things have changed. We’ve gotten to see lots of friends and spend quality time with some very special friends. Each of the Beans got at least a couple of hours alone with one of their closest friends here. It’s been so lovely to see them have fun with their long-time friends and see that several years of sporadic visits haven’t pulled apart the bonds of friendship.

It sort of makes me think about friendship. How is it that with some friends, we have the ability to pick up each time we see them as if no time has gone by. With other friends, it’s more like strangers who remember each other fondly. And I find that I can’t predict which friends will be which. I do find that friends made as an adult are more likely to “stick”. At least close friends. Which leads me to the idea of close friends.

I have an ongoing annoyance with Facebook that it’s a little difficult to define people into categories. By close friends, really I think I’d classify them as sisters of my heart. These are the people who go beyond people I’d grab coffee with and extend all the way to people I’d drive hundreds of miles to help.   These are people whose children I would take in no questions asked for a day or a year or a lifetime. And, clearly, there aren’t many of those. I also have dear friends who haven’t quite reached that level of friendship. They’re people that I adore spending time with, but they aren’t family. They’re friends. And then there are people with whom I’m friendly, but they don’t approach the true friend category. My kids also have trouble with this idea. They think that any of the moms I say Hi to must be my friends. They marvel that I have “so many friends.” I struggle with how to explain the idea of multiple levels of friendship to them. Perhaps I should just use Shrek’s onion analogy… At any rate, the mind wanders when you let it, doesn’t it? It ranges from disciplining kids all the way to the depth of friendship…

This is my first assignment to create a better blog. It’s a challenge to write every week day of the month of April. So, we’ll see how it goes!

Happy Stream of Consciousness!

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