Feb 4, 2009

Friends in deeds and whispers

Good friends are there when we need them. During this week of hard reno work (creating a garage rental suite), one friend had us over for dinner two nights in a row, while another took both our children for the full afternoon (with another friend watching Zekiah for the half-hour before Galen got out of class). It's so uplifting to feel friends hold us up, and even more gratifying when they give us the chance to hold them at other times. The give-and-take of real relationships builds trust, makes us feel safe (and today, lets us complete the subfloor and roof beam supports).

During today's playdate the kids created fairy houses, ate homemade muffins, learned card tricks and other bits of magic typical of their magical mother. But when I asked the boys what they did today, Galen said they made paper airplanes, and Zekiah said they drew pictures. My advice - only do one fun thing a day, and make it the last thing you do, since that's all they'll remember at the bedtime check-in anyways.

Bed-time check-in: each night after stories and before songs, we lay down in their bed and ask their best and worst things from the day. At that intimate, unguarded time before sleep, sometimes the most guarded secrets and wonders are finally released. We recently finally found out why Galen didn't like one of his classmates from last year - he'd been holding it, not responding to our daytime queries about it, and finally he could breathe it out into the dark night.

These were, I thought, two random thoughts that arose today (helping friends and bedtime check-in ritual), but I see that they're really both about learning how to be there with and for our loved ones, making a safe space to meet their spoken and felt needs.

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