All My Life (Self-image, Power thinking)

She walked into my office.

Her – “Nonna wants to know how long you’re going to be teaching tennis?”

Me – “An hour.”

She walked out.

Me – “Bear?”

Her – “Yeah?”

She returned.

Me – “I want to know how long you’re going to be amazing?”

I reached out my arms and picked her up.

Her – “For the rest of my life.”

Me – “Good answer. And, I agree!”

She smiled, gave me a kiss and walked off.

Rainbow Season (Perspective, Humor)

Recently, I noticed a particularly special sky forming on the way back from some errands and called my Mom to ask if my daughter and my Dad wanted to go to the beach for the sunset. For days, seemingly, the sky ominously threatened us with rain, but it always dumped its contents east of us. As a result, rainbows were spotted frequently. This night was no different. On the short drive to the beach, we spotted a massive, double rainbow. My girl lit up…

Her – “It’s rainbow season!”

Rainbow season. Never thought of it like that. I’ve only heard it phrased as the rainy season. Not to her, though. No. It was rainbow season.

It’s all what you look for, I guess. It’s all perspective.

Yummy Spot (Bedtime routines, Power thinking, Law of attraction)

I have a few standard verbal rituals I draw from each night as I help her get to sleep.

+A few songs I sing including one I made up when she was a baby titled ‘You Are Love You Are Light’

+Saying “All is well, all is well, all is well. You are loved.”

+A series of affirming comments about her higher nature, purpose, being a powerful creator

+Asking her what she’s grateful for and thinking of someone to send our love to

Sometimes, she gets all of them. The point is for her to fall to sleep feeling wonderful.

Another one that I’ve used for years to help her settle and to feel good is to say after our verbal exchange

Me -“Ok, find your yummy spot.”

She’ll then lift her head over her pillow a bunch of times until she finds that exact, perfect, good-feeling spot. When she finds her pillow spot, she smiles with a great feeling of contentment and drifts off to sleep.

Tonight, I added a bit

Me – “Ok, find your yummy spot- that place where you feel loved, safe, happy, so satisfied, that positive place where things are flowing…”

She ate up every word that represent that spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical zone.

It’s interesting as I write this, in all the years I’ve done this with her, she’s never popped up from her pillow and said, “I’m not in the mood. I am too stressed. I can’t stop thinking about a problem I’m having”‘and so on.

Granted, she doesn’t have the concerns of your typical adult. But, still, it’s very clear to her that feeling wonderful in the Now is the foundation of the good life.

Even after eight years of seeing her live this way, I’m a little in awe of it.

Connection Over Force (Love, Persuasion, Values)

We were at the dinner table with my parents, just finishing up. She was getting tired from late nights and pool time today with a friend. Before dinner, I had asked her when she wanted to do her 30m of reading. She chose to keep watching SpongeBob and do it after dinner only now that time had arrived and she was tired. Tired, but I thought she could do a little, at least, before watching a meaningful video about a girl who endured teasing to go on to become a dancer that my Mom had her excited about watching.

Me – “Ok, Bellina, clear your plate and then start your reading.”

She groaned and slumped on the table, unmotivated from fatigue

Me – “Oh, guess you’re too tired for the video with Nonna. Tomorrow you can see it.”

Her – “Really? You think that’s going to work?”

She paused and looked at me shaking her head

Her – “I know your tricks.”

Indeed, that is one I have used often- let her know that her choice will have a natural consequence, but knowing full well it was just a nudge to compel action Countless times, she has reconsidered and found the motivation for whatever she was stalling doing.

Not tonight.

I laughed.

Me – “Come here.”

Her – “Why? So you can try tricking me?”

Me – “No.”

She came, and I embraced her.

Me – “I love you. Please tell me my trick is going to still work for a while longer.”

She nuzzled in.

Me – “Ok, clear your plate and start reading. Compromise. Just do fifteen minutes.”

She did both, told me about what she read and is now watching videos with Nonna. They watch amusing videos, inspirational videos and educational videos.

Magic of Boredom (Creativity, Imagination, Play, Passion)


The other day I made a ruling. No TV until afternoon. I had been getting progressively more frustrated with her tendency to plop in front of the TV to start her day and not budge until I had to be a boss parent and insist she shut it off. Lectures are useless. She wasn’t exhibiting self-discipline in keeping to her 2hrs of screen time in the summer, so I set the parameter. No TV in the morning.

Her – “I don’t know what to do.”

Me – “How about drawing?”

Her – “Will you draw with me?”

Me – “No. I am busy now with things. You can draw on your own. You don’t always need someone to play with you.”

She looked dejected and walked off.

The house went silent. After fifteen minutes, I called out.

Me – “Bellina, what are you doing?”

Her – “Drawing.”

Me – “Ok.”

Later on, I went to check on her. To my amazement, she was not just drawing but developing a comic series. She had made up characters. The lead was a donut, it’s pal a cheese stick. It was a day in the life of the donut Donut went to school, made friends, was the one who knew math the best and ended up at donut’s house. It had dialogue and took place on many pages.

When I asked her at one point if she wanted to play tennis she gave me a face.

Me – “You want to keep drawing, huh?”

Her – “Yeah.”

Later, we talked about it.

Me – “How did you come up with the idea of a comic and those characters?”

Her – “I was just bored.”

Me – “Perfect!”

Her – “Perfect?”

Me – “Yeah. See, with not being sure what to do and no TV or tablet to take up that space, you eventually think about what you might enjoy. Then you just follow that enjoyment and see where it takes you. It took you to writing a comic, and it’s really clever and creative with a start, middle and ending. It all came from boredom!”

So, when you hear people say that boredom can be good for kids, I think what they are saying is that that it might connect them to enjoyment, which might connect them to part of who they are. authentically. She loves to draw and to make people laugh.

Here’s to plenty of room to be bored as kids and adults so we can follow enjoyment and see where it leads.

Whole Heart of Love (Love, Stability)

She’s growing every day, it seems. Her face gets a little wider, her vocabulary richer, her understanding of the world and therefore her conversations a little more developed. But it’s nice to know that, through the changes, my little girl is still there.

Tonight, she asked me in the middle of ‘America’s Got Talent’ if I could help her find her blanket. That meant she was getting sleepy. I gave her a piggy back ride to my room as I remembered seeing it left in there. As it wrapped around her

Her – “Giraffo! (her name for her blanket). Daddo and Giraffo mixed together makes a big whole heart of love.”

Summer Christmas Dance (Happiness, Humor)

There is still a lot of joy and magic in her world, fortunately. She skips. She sings. She laughs. Of course, she has her off moments, but they are the exception. I was reminded of her magical world recently after we had gotten out of the pool. Couldn’t find her, but I could hear her singing.

Me – “Where are you?”

Her – “In the closet?”

Oh, the walk-in closet…

Me – “What are you doing in there?”

Her – “Dancing.”

I peaked in and saw her dressed in a leotard dancing with a Christmas ornament.

Her – “I was just thinking about Christmas!”

Love it. In July dancing blissfully in a dark closet with a Christmas ornament.

I wonder if I’ll understand that sort of joyful living again. As adults, it’s so easy to fall in to doing things in order to be happy or being happy only when others meet our expectations. Meanwhile, kids show us what it means to just be happiness. It’s a marvel, something sacred that I want to protect and nurture for her as long as possible. I also observe it and learn from her, hoping to catch up, over time.