It’s been a wild year! The past 12 months have tossed our family quite a few transitions. With a new job position for my husband, a new state for our family, and a new construction project to turn into a home (hopefully in the next few months, anyway), life has felt a bit topsy-turvy this year!
I was thinking recently about my post, 147 Things You Don’t Need to Do for the Holidays. I stand by what I said there. We don’t have to do it all. But I’ve been thinking also about how we may sometimes take simplicity too far. That frivolity itself can have a purpose. And it is this: CONNECTION.
Once again, I loved having a chat with Heather Shumaker about her fantastic book, It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (*affiliate). As we wrap up the year’s read along, Heather talks about how to get started with the Renegade Rules, how to stay sane when you’re parenting in public, and shares some exciting news about her next book. (I can’t wait for it!)
One of the most amazing aspects of blogging has been the realization that there are REAL people behind those author bylines on articles, posts, and books. Getting to know those real people is one of my favorite parts of this blogging gig! Heather Shumaker has been no exception — an absolute delight! Her book, It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (*affiliate link) is amazing, but getting to discuss each section with her has been no less so!
A book is my favorite thing to give as a gift, especially to a child! And one of my favorite ways to package that gift is with another connected item that will extend the experience and the meaning. I put a few of my favorite books together in this format last year (find that list here). Between the positive feedback on that first list, and my own delirious love of books, the list has really grown this year, spanning from board books to activity resource books. There’s really something for every age!
(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Click on titles to find each book and/or item.)
Asia Citro of Fun at Home with Kids has compiled a fantastic new book, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!
With one little kindergartener home from school with a cough, we were in that “too-sick-for-school but feeling-to-good-to-just-rest” spot. Even my five year old has his limits when it comes to how many episodes of Backyardigans he can take in one day. Luckily for us, Asia’s book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids (*affiliate link) was sitting on our kitchen counter.
JM Barrie’s Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite stories. As a child I was mesmerized by Mary Martin’s stage performance, and, as an early reader, the book was one of the first “literary classics” I read. I loved it all. The flying, the pirates, the adventure, the humor. I wanted to BE Peter Pan.
Last night, I went with one of my sons to watch a stage production of Peter Pan. Watching him take in the show was the highlight of my night. The way his eyes lit up as the crocodile slithered onto stage. His whisper as he asked if Peter Pan would really drink the poison Captain Hook left for him. The treasured moment when he showed he believed in fairies by enthusiastically adding his claps to the audience’s to bring Tinkerbell back to life.
Afterwards, I told him how much I loved the story of Peter Pan as a child. I told him I once tried to catch a fairy by setting a sparkly, sticky trap, knowing that if I could just get some fairy dust I might be able to fly. I listened as he planned out loud, adding his 21st Century revisions to my simplistic fairy trap. (It was a much better design after adding cameras, robotic arms, and sparkle-sensors.)
As I drove home I thought of how much that night resembled the last scene in Peter Pan. Only moments before, Wendy returns home from Neverland. With one quick scene change, Peter arrives at the nursery to find Wendy a grown woman, her own child sleeping nearby. While Peter never did grow up, Wendy has, so her daughter takes her place in the next adventure in Neverland.
While I so vividly remember my childhood fascination with the story of Peter Pan, I am now “ever so much more than twenty” and, like Wendy, I find myself passing the treasured tale on to my own children.
And though I may try to make them promise they won’t grow up, it all seems to happen in the blink of an eye. One simple scene change. Continue reading