Tag Archives: children

Put a smile on someone’s face

“We must learn to realize that “now” is happening and will very soon be gone…We must look at the ink on the calendar and see an immediate opportunity to do something wonderful, incredible, or beautiful. It’s that simple.” – Dan Pearce “If you’ve put a smile on someone’s face today, you’ve done more good than …

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A slightly sour sweet

“Halloween wraps fear in innocence, As though it were a slightly sour sweet. Let terror, then, be turned into a treat…”  — Nicholas Gordon I’ve always wondered what it is in us that finds a small dose of fright so appealing.  Most of us don’t like truly horrifying or gory fare, but even little ones …

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The soul is healed

“The soul is healed by being with children.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” ― Carl Sandburg What a difference one short year makes in the life of a baby!  When I compare the photo above to the one posted one year ago today, which was taken …

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A natural affinity

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” — Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to tag along with a child or two.  They notice things we have forgotten …

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What is left

“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.” — Edward de Bono I’ve written very little here about my younger brother Al.  I guess there are a lot of reasons why.  As he is my only younger sibling, I’ve always felt a stronger need to protect him, however illogical …

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The task of the educator

“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confuse good with immobility and evil with activity…”— Maria Montessouri Any adult who interacts with a young child …

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What we become

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” ― Umberto Eco Happy Father’s Day! One year ago on Father’s Day: More than a hundred This post was first published on Father’s Day …

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Near the water’s edge

“Children instinctively choose to build near the water’s edge knowing that the water to sand ratio is vital, and I believe that they also know that at the end of the exercise their hard work will be reclaimed by the incoming tide. Even very young children know that they cannot take their creation home – …

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Very valuable

“What a pity that I didn’t keep my childhood – it would be very valuable now.” — Ashleigh Brilliant One year ago today, I wrote about the April birthday shared by my father and my brother.  I had forgotten that my father’s father, who died when I was a baby, had almost had the same birthday.  …

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The seriousness of a child

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” — Heraclitus There’s a lot of talk about how childhood is magical and carefree, and I agree that it was (or is) a wondrous time for many of us.  Yet even with the most advantageous childhood, I think the first …

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Made for kids

“Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up.”  — Bob Lemon Those of us who admire the complexity of baseball — or maybe only imagine that we do — might think Lemon has oversimplified things with this statement.  But he has far more authority on the subject than I do, and in …

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What grandparents do

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” — Alex Haley I’ve written about my mother’s wonderful mother.  I didn’t mention my other grandmother, or either grandfather, but suffice it to say that my siblings and I hit the lottery jackpot when it …

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Language of the imagination

“ ‘They are all beasts of burden in a sense,’ Thoreau once remarked of animals, ‘made to carry some portion of our thoughts.’ Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.” ― Rebecca Solnit I’m not sure I understand …

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In the company of children

“Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.” ― Robert Lynd This quote sounds charming, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little to recall how exhausted Jeff and I used to be during the years when Santa would visit our sons.  It always …

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An act of recollection

“The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write… Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the story’s narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up.” — Chris …

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Share to the full

“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us…” — Winston Churchill, in his Christmas Eve message of …

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Unintentionally

“Small kindnesses often, unintentionally, produce the biggest payoffs.” ― Richard Paul Evans Sometimes people give us gifts that they don’t even realize they are giving us.  Here’s my memory of one such gift, an intangible expression of an all-too-unusual kind of love. Because my father has always been a good sport about being teased, all …

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Consolation brought me joy

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” — Psalm 94:19 Here in the northern hemisphere, December is the month of consolation, when the cold and decay of nature’s landscape are offset by the joys of celebration and gratitude.  Today we thank you for the cheer and solace of your kind thoughts, …

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Children and dogs

“Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” — Harry S Truman In fact, I’d say they are even more necessary. I’m so grateful for them! One year ago today: Unknown blessings Pasha, this will be our first Thanksgiving without you.Now and always, we miss …

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Merry October!

UPDATE – scroll down for photos of Halloween fun in our Alexandria neighborhood! “October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins…. Merry October!” — Rainbow Rowell I can’t remember what year it was when I carved the jack-o-lantern pictured above, but it’s probably representative of what they …

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A child in every one

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~ Elizabeth Akers Allen There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.— Robert Brault Perhaps no holiday brings back more childhood memories than Halloween.  The festivities of …

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The simplest toy

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” — Sam Levenson There are colorful toys, singing toys, funny toys, educational toys, old-fashioned toys, and toys that wear out quickly.  Grandparents are all of the above.  Every child should have at least one or two – hopefully more!  If your child …

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Not a child

“My dog is not a child substitute, according to its pediatrician.” — Rita Rudner On a recent weekend visit, Drew and Megan were laughing about their having unintentionally referred to Grady as “Pasha” a couple of times.  I laughed too, but before the weekend was over, I had done it myself.  It’s an easy mistake to …

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The world’s best teachers

“Children and animals are the world’s best teachers– but very few adults really want to be educated.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Educators have long known that learning is optimal when the lessons are engaging and fun.  What better teachers, then, than animals and children?  I hope there are more adults wanting this sort of education than …

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Do not cease to play

“We do not cease to play because we grow old, we grow old because we cease to play.” — George Bernard Shaw Everybody who needs more fun time, raise your hands.  OK, that’s settled…we need to make more time  for play! Of course, when I say “play” I’m not talking about watching TV, or even playing “Angry …

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