Brené Brown recently changed the format of her weekly email. She used to send out a weekly “Dose of Daring,” an inspirational quote to start your week. Now she sends out a brief newsletter called TGIF where she shares something True, something she’s grateful for, something Inspiring, and something Fun from the week.
I am inspired by the practice and have been looking for an opportunity for reflection in the space of this blog, so I hope that she won’t mind my highjacking her practice (she does invite her readers to share in the #TGIFpractice so I’m pretty sure she thinks it’s good for everyone)
This week I attended the first class in a six week parenting course sponsored by my daughter’s preschool. The first lesson was about how to play with your kids. There was a part of me (and I sensed among the other parents in the room) that thought, “really? I just want to get out the door without feeling like I’m negotiating with terrorists. What does play have to do with it?”
But the voice of wisdom and trust in my heart answers: “Play has everything to do with it.”
One thing I trust about children is that play is their native language. And if I want to have a better relationship with my kids, I need to play with them.
In other parenting news, my daughter “graduated” from Kindergarten today. I’m so grateful that she’s had a positive experience in her first year of school. I’m grateful that she’s had access to early learning opportunities. I’m grateful for public schools, school buses, the National School Breakfast Program, and the hundreds of people, programs, staff people, volunteers and more that are invisible to me, but I know are an important part of making our schools safe and effective every day.
One of my “never miss” podcasts is Pantsuit Politics. In the past week they shared two episodes about Abortion. One was a factual rundown about abortion law: 5 Things You Need to Know about Abortion Law. The second was an intense, but important, discussion on the potential ramifications of recent abortion legislation and a personal and heartfelt discussion about this topic that I felt was brave, important and inspiring. What I consistently find most inspiring about these women and their conversations is that they don’t get stuck on talking points or defending their “side” of political issues. Their conversations inspire me about what is possible for our democracy and our country if people really engage in good faith with a willingness to listen and learn.
Today’s fun hits a lot of buttons for me. My niece participates in an after school program called TechGyrls that teaches STEM skills to underserved populations in Appalachia. The ladies who attend the program get the opportunity to participate on a Lego Robotics team as early as fifth grade, they do hands on science activities, learn how to prepare healthy meals and have access to arts enrichment partnerships with Barter Theatre and Symphony of the Mountains.
Its a FREE program where children are referred by teacher recommendation
Many students go from earning pretty low marks in school, to As and Bs because of the homework help, tutoring, and mentoring.
After they leave the program many girls come back in high school to act as peer mentors. Its a great opportunity to keep young ladies who would otherwise be unsupervised at home engaged and encouraged
They are doing an Over the Edge Fundraiser and my dad is raising money so he can rappel from the top of the Bristol Motor Speedway (150 feet down!)
To up the stakes, he’s promised to go down in a Wonder Woman costume in honor of the wonderful women served by this organization.
I love the spirit of fun he’s bringing to this challenge, and that he’s going way over the edge of his comfort zone to show his granddaughter how much he cares.
(p.s. If you’d like to support him and the YMCA of Southwest Virginia, you can donate here ❤ )