Coloring Inside the Lines

Sometimes I think I seek out the frustrating parts of the world because those are the problems I want to help the most- those are the issues that I feel passionate about. I want to understand how to fight hate and violence and replace it with peace and love, but often I approach it with a frustrated judgemental heart. And that helps nobody. It’s born of that feeling of being out of control, unable to protect those that get hurt by the words and actions of others. But hate (or frustrated words of impatience and judgment) cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that, as said the great Martin Luther King Jr.

Peace and patience start at home. Every day I am trying to remind myself to give love and patience and let the big issues wait. Better to work on my own humility and my own glass house than to be a slave to angst, and hurt others with my impatience.

I’m trying so hard right now to store up my reserves of patience, as Alina rounds second and begins to run for third. She is on a roller coaster of emotion and I can either throw gasoline on the flames or sit and hold her calmly through it. Every day she seeks out all boundaries like she is stumbling through a minefield, cursing each explosion and insisting on her way. It’s a sudden descent into confusion and sadness for her. At the same time she is making such enormous leaps of learning. This morning she was coloring, beautifully, and sketched in a circle, and then a square, pointing out the shapes to me and then counted only the squares and told me how many there were. We have been trying to air out a really bad diaper rash and she has been amazing at going on the potty by herself. I’m making it rain M&Ms (or as she calls them- nummy nums) and she’s been enjoying it.

Last night I sat down to dinner with the kids and we talked about our favorite animals- Alina immediately said hers was a tiger (RAWRRRAWR) and Ben said his was a lion. They both really liked the roaring and apparently that is the only qualifier needed to become ones favorite animal.

After dinner I let them color all over this cardboard with markers and it ended up everywhere on their bodies (I had to strip Ben down to be fair). This led to an important conversation about body parts we don’t color on, ahem. Due to the possibility of infection and marker contamination. Kids will try anything.

I hope you have a great day comrades. Don’t color on anything sensitive.

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