Moments of Enchantment. Moments of Enchantment are when you take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. “Extra” ordinary – add that little ‘extra’ something to make life a little more sparkly, magical, fun, intentional, connected, alive…
Bedtime, for many families, consist of a set of rituals and practices that our kids will remember forever. My husband says a little mantra when he puts our girls to bed that they can recite on demand – he tucks the blanket around each girl very tight and kisses them on the forehead and all the while he says, “The best part of every day is when someone you love tucks you in…because, it means they are there for you, they care for you, and they love you.” Then, he finishes with, “You know who that someone is? It’s me!”
Bedtime Journaling. I remember when my girls were in public school, I would make sure I did the little things to let them know I was thinking about them, little moments of delight, that made them feel special & loved. At lunch, this would be by the daily post-it note I would place in their lunches. One of my daughter’s loved those notes so much, she kept every single one for a year. A box full of lunch notes from mom. Sometimes, these traditions ingrain in the hearts of our children and you see them carry on the tradition, too! My youngest, Kamiko, has enthusiastically taken on the duty of packing our lunches. Even though we now homeschool now, I have found that continuing to pack lunches saves me so much valuable time and kitchen hassle when trying to accomplish school and home demands.
To keep her packing lunch enthusiasm up and reward her gift of service, I have sprinkled some enchantment and made her a special large lunch tote we keep in the pantry that is filled with many lunch box treats, snacks, and sides that I have her select at the grocery store. To keep it easy and fun, we each have our own Personalized 31 Thermal totes for her use and I purchased a bunch of the reusable cloth zip lock bags (they come in so many cute prints and designs!) and Tupperware, fun/cute little ice packs and store them where she can reach them and do her thing! She loves it – and she also makes sure that each of has our own Post-it note from her too! Here is my note from yesterday – yum.
Kamiko packing lunches is a win -win. Fostering a grateful and helping/service oriented heart in children begins when they are young. Listening to her desire to help and her cheerful spirit at creating our lunches was a win-win for our family! She can perform an act of service and kindness to our family by making us lunches, she saves me an enormous amount of time and energy by eliminating lunch prep and clean up during valuable time during our school day and she is working on her writing skills and expressing feelings toward us while writing each of us a personalized love note.
Does she leave bread crumbs, mayo streaks and knives with sticky peanut butter on the counters? YES! YES! YES! But, she has to start somewhere. I can gently start introducing the idea of a good clean up over time. For now, I celebrate and encourage her independence, service and kindness. I routinely say to my little people, “look for the ways you can show your gratitude always.” For little people, many times, it is acts of service-words of kindness.
Now, as they are beginning to move past the younger elementary stages – I have a 13, 11 and almost 9 year old – I am always searching for more ways to keep open lines of communication with them. Here is what I did – I bought three writing journals, individualized journals to their interests and personalities. I also bought each girl fancy or fun writing pens and markers to make the experience a little more ‘magical’. For example, for my youngest, I selected for her a little kitty journal with a lock and a miniature pack of glitter pens.
Beginning was easy! I just wrote the first entry explaining that these were our bedtime journals – just a little journal between them and I – where they could tell me anything on their minds. I shared that my hope was we could write back and forth to each other regularly, but not with any expectation of how often. A safe place to share our feelings, thoughts, questions, silly things, pictures, drawings, etc. I date them, sign them and sometimes add little touches like stickers or new pens. I bought some cute Easter pencils yesterday and will stick it with their journals this week. I keep it simple so we will do it and the kids have loved it!
Journaling is such a wonderful habit to encourage in your family. Not only for the vehicle of expression and sharing of thoughts, but it can also help foster the writer in each of us – Yesterday, Kamiko made a observation that she was looking back in her journal from last year and she can see how much her spelling has improved! One day, these journals will be such sweet mementos of their childhood. How I wish I could hold something like this in my hands from my mother today…
We have no set expectation or rules on how often we journal to one another – it is very loose. When one of us finishes an entry to the other, we simply sneak into their room and place it under their pillow for them to find at bedtime. There is nothing sweeter, or more enchanting, than crawling into bed at night and reaching under my pillow and feeling the thoughts of one of my girls waiting for me…ahhh, sweet dreams indeed.