Out of the Mouths of Babes

My son and daughter-in-law have a list of family values that are intrinisic to the raising of our granddaughters. One of them is, “We don’t give up.” 

Elliot related a recent conversation he had with four-and-a-half-year-old Olivia.  She had hit a stumbling block of some sort and was growing discouraged. 

Elliot (my paraphrasing): You know Olivia, one of our family values is that we don’t give up.  We try again. And then if that doesn’t work, we try again until we get where we want to be.

Olivia (verbatim): So what you’re telling me is we don’t succumb.

Yep. You can bring your jaws together again.

Olivia’s words have taken on a deeper meaning in this month following the high holidays and this period of reflection, repentance and renewal. “We don’t succumb” applies to more than goals and determination.  “We don’t succumb” reminds me not to succumb to my own petty, and not-so-petty,  inclinations. It reminds me not to succumb to negative thinking, to useless worrying, to all those mark-missing behaviors that I vowed so recently to work on.

I’ll leave it here for you to mull over. Perhaps it will become a new family value for us all.

 

 

There is Magic in the World…

…and the Heavens listen.  This is a “stop the presses!” moment.

Our daughter-in-law texted late last night that today at five would be a good time to read to Olivia and do music*.  When Martin told me, I realized I’d need to get to the library for some new books to read. This morning  I received a delivery from Amazon.  At the bottom was a book I don’t even remember ordering.

I reached for What Do You Know? by sisters Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields (I mean with names like that they have to be magic women!), opened it, began to read, and tumbled into that special place of mine where gratitude spirals from my very depths like the best fireworks you’ve ever seen.  Gratitude for these talented women, gratitude for my capacity to feel so deeply, gratitude for the years (two) and conversations (1000) that brought this book into being.

From the blurb: “What might a bear, a farmer, a historian, some goats or courage respond when love askes, ‘What do you know?’ ” Turn the page and be surrounded in wonder and astonishment. Reach the farmers’ pages and delight in the illustrations. Read the answer of courage and know that when you read this book to your children and grandchildren you will be teaching them life’s most difficult lesson in an unforgettable way.

That’s all I’ll say.  Except for this: Order this book today. Visit Enchanted Lion Books.  They are an amazing publisher of the art and philosopy we call children’s books.

 

* Martin finds incredible music videos to enjoy with Olivia.  Their repetoire spans opera, Broadway, ballet and symphonies. One of their favorites is Shostakovich’s opera The Nose which contains a scene of dancing noses.

 

I have classified this post in three drawers: Grandlife, Bookshelf, Kids @ Heart because the book is so wonderful I don’t want anyone to miss it!