Sunday, September 16, 2012
Surprises was my "theme" idea or attempt for our weekend. Saturday was off to a rocky beginning. Although one of our sons spent over an hour designing a monster truck picture for his little brother who LOVES monster trucks. He surprised his little brother with it afterwords. A picture that will be cherished for a long time, now that its safely hanging on the little brothers wall. (Picture seen above) Writing about surprises, I heard that another family we know surprised all their children on Saturday night with a family vacation. How wonderful is that!? When I was explaining to our children about surprising people, the surprise is suppose to be genuine, some thought involved where the surprise taking place will be remembered. A few of our children were saying, "I will scare !@#^$%&" Naming another sibling of theirs. I had to re-explain that this mission of surprising was to be a good, thoughtful and loving surprise. Not a frightening experience! There was a time years ago when we only had a few children and while waiting for an appointment I said, "Let's wish a stranger passing a great day!" I know, I know - children shouldn't talk to strangers but this was with me as an experiment. I remember two of our children approaching mostly the elderly (as we would scope them out) and wish them a great day, sometimes with a hug. This was over twelve years ago and I still remember the smiles on these individual faces. I've written about this before where "Paying it forward" works. Sometimes when I'm in a drive thru line up (usually Tim Hortons) I will pay for the persons order behind me. Of course, again.....I'm scoping them out. I really like targeting our elders. After all they are the ones that have developed our life to what it is now, they are wise and extremely life intelligent and have been through more then what I will ever experience. I was in a restaurant years ago minding my own business, sitting alone which enabled me to people watch. I saw this sweet couple. They were probably in their late 80's. They were holding hands, smiling and chatting amongst each other. It was a couple that more likely shared over 50 years together. OR they just met! Regardless of their situation, it was very sweet to witness. The woman helped the man and I was in "awe" Honestly, I don't see this often. Leaving that morning, I secretly paid for their meal. These are the surprises I'm trying to teach our children to do. Surprises without acknowledgement is the best. Then surprises with (for example) a drawn monster truck for his little brother is not just a picture but that acknowledgement of being thought of can last a lifetime too. When our children say, "I'm bored" or "There is nothing to do" I've usually responded saying, "Clean this or that" but lately I've been saying, "Why don't you do this......" Meaning something for their siblings. Building relationships is what our children need and I find that more important then cleaning the floors. Sunday was a brand new day. I thought my mission for surprising was long gone, washed under the bridge....... BUT I was surprised. Sometimes my power of suggestion with expectations fail....it didn't today. In the morning my father and mother surprised us with a little visit. Which was nice. Then we went to the corn maze for the afternoon. What was really surprising was we were able to pay for a family rate! Normally when there is twelve plus more of us, we have to at least pay for two plus families but not today! I thought that was really nice. This was a first being recognized as "one" family not paying for several. A family is a family, a family with four or a family with seventeen. Honestly, when it's defined as a family rate then honoring what "family" means is always great to see! To end our weekend, we had pizza and chocolate milk. Two of my boys (Age 9 & 10) went biking and returned with flowers in a water bottle....and to be honest, that was the best surprise and I really needed it even with the little bugs that popped out!