October 29, 2003

Lessons From Mary Poppins... Our Kids just finished watching Mary Poppins and I am struck by the lessons I take away from the movie. Listening to "Let's Go Fly a Kite" play in the background of this post reminds me how important that life philosophy is. To take time to just go fly a kite. On a personal note, one of Serona's favorite family things is to fly a kite, it is not mine. This summer there were many times when I gave in and went to fly a kite many months pregnant and chasing two small children - but now I can see it was worth it! There is something so wondrous and carefree about flying a kite and the kids love it. I of all people should have seen how important it is - as I am such a big proponent of doing things that actually make the kids happy.

But Mary Poppins is more than kite-flying. The message of the movie to me is to remember to slow down, lighten up, have fun and take children seriously. To treat children as people with real feelings and opinions and to respect and further those. To teach in a fun and creative way. To make even tasks seem fun. What child ever forgets the "Tidy Up the Nursery Game" and "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down"? And of course we can't forget laughter - Uncle Albert on the ceiling from laughing and the banker who dies laughing. Laughter is the very stuff of life and it makes everything so much better. I need to laugh more with my children. I need to lighten up!

And of course "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" always reminds me of how important silliness is. Sometimes silliness is the only solution. The other day Ciaran and I were having a battle of the wills and I was at my wits end and so was he. I knelt down to reprimand him for what felt like the hundredth time and he came barreling into me and we both feel down and just started laughing, which turned into ticking which just resolved the whole thing and we went on happier. It was amazing. Don't get me wrong we can't ALWAYS be silly with our kids - but I know I could do it more often.

When I look back on some of our favorite days I realize those are the days we are the silliest, most creative and make everything seem fun. After all we are in the magical days of childhood. Why not be a family of bears heading for our den when we have to leave a place? What not let them go out in full dressup gear other than on Halloween? Why not sing songs while we clean and play games to learn things? We do all this and on the days I am most creative - we learn the most and have the most fun.

So laugh with your kids today, be silly and remember to "Go Fly a Kite" in spirit atleast.


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