Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gratitude, Day Three - Reframing

Today's gratitude came as a result of further de-cluttering. I took out all of the many board games on the living room shelves and we figured out which games could be passed along to younger friends and which should remain in our lives - rotated out, so they'll be noticed. The greatest part about this process is the rediscovery that happens. I love it when something old becomes new and exciting again, and when an old thrift store find becomes an absolute favorite.

Last month, I had been complaining to a friend that the once passionately loved board games, like our homemade Dino-bird-opoly, Clue and Life, had been completely usurped by game cube and computer games. But the other night, we sent the boys on a hunt for a full deck of playing cards and reintroduced them to Hearts and today, Jesse was once again excited about the old games and puzzles. They just needed to be seen newly framed, surrounded by some empty space. I think Jesse may have been trying to tell us this through his art. Jesse's creations always have lots of negative space. ;) Here's today's creation with rediscovered pattern blocks. That's it - finished.

Connecting through "Connect Four", with cookies and milk.

Jesse and the sun, both shining through.

A former favorite that has been re-framed this year for me - Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. We've listened to it on CDs from the library while we drive on and off all year. Through long drives, in traffic, seated in our comfortable car, we have experienced life on the prairie, in wagons, with loong day of endless chores, through the looong winter. Remember when Laura and Mary got an orange, a coin and a bit of Christmas candy in their stockings? Their tears and excitement were the definition of gratitude. It is so unexpected and wonderful that my boys love these books too.


Tamar Orvell said...

PLEASE read or reread "All of a Kind Family" for achingly beautiful, poignant tales of financially poor, experience- and love-rich children. The gratitude they have for a single shiny penny is one I once had... and long for today. Thank you for springing it to mind and bringing it out from the back shelf... this gift for all ages and all times.

mindy said...

Ooohh...I hope you guys kept Clue! We're still hoping to play it with you!

Blogging Molly said...

I love the pictures of Connect Four, and I love it when we play games together as a family. My son (5) joined us in a game of Scrabble last week for the very first time. It was incredibly fun, especially when my daughter (7) asked to play without keeping scores. We have listened to several of the Little House books this past year also, and I'm about ready to sit down and read the whole series myself (how I missed them as a child I do not know). I recently read a junior biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder and loved it! I often think about times past when simple gifts, like an orange and a silk ribbon, made children happy. I wish we could get back there.

Danielle said...

And Mr. Edwards worked so hard to get those gifts to them, if I remember correctly. I would re-read that whole series every single winter for I don't know how many years. We've tried starting it before, and the kids have never really been into it. I'm hoping that this time around it will capture their imaginations.

Sara said...

Something about Little House makes kids reflect on what they have and what their life is like compared to others. At least it did for me.

Thanks for the gratitude inspiration this week. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Madeline said...

Tamar, I have never heard of that book. I will definitely read it and further torture myself about the distance between simple lives and those of my children. For the times, they are experience rich as well, but they do have a lot and sometimes (as we all do) take it all for granted. The challenge is to let them discover this on their own, in good time. You know?

Mindy, yes we kept Clue!

Molly, I too sometimes wish we could get back there but then, I do love my connection with all of you and that wouldn't be happening!