Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have made it to the middle of a rainy and very chilly spring break with the kiddos. February spoiled me with mid 70 temps and sunny skies. I actually spent the last day of winter on the beach in my swimsuit with my sisters. Now we have winter weather during spring break and have found ourselves stuck indoors with old movies and living room forts. A few days of being cooped up together typically lends itself to bickering, hurt feelings, and angry outburst of sibling rivalry. Tuesday it happened. But the fight led to one of the high lights of my week.

The tent that was made out of bar stools and blankets was held down by heavy books.
It had an area for food, blankets and pillows for sleeping, a light, and a TV made out of a box and tin foil.
It took seemly hours to build according to my 11 and 8 year old.
But, quickly became the source of disagreement.

Andrew would not listen.
Madison would not control her anger.
The tent was destroyed in the crossfire.
They were sent to their rooms.

A half an hour later they were released from solitary confinement and resumed their normal day.
I was cleaning out my bedroom closet as the kids approached ground zero of the living room fort.
That's when I began to eavesdrop...

Andrew: "Madison, I'm really sorry about this."
Madison: "It's okay. I really struggle with anger and I need to learn to control my anger. I'm sorry that I messed up this tent."
Andrew: "I really need to learn to listen. I don't listen to my teacher at school sometimes."
Madison: "You'll do better."
Andrew: "Do you wanna build another tent?"
Madison: "Sure"

A smiled spread across my face as I listened to this exchange between my kids. They began to rebuild with excitement at making it even better than before. The remainder of the afternoon they played contentedly in the new tent, at peace.

Sometimes we don't listen.
Sometimes we don't control our anger and tear each other down with our words and actions.
Sometimes we need to find our way back to ground zero and say, "I'm sorry"
We need to take responsibility for our actions and vow to change.
We need to ask, "Do you wanna re-build?"
And we need to answer, "Sure."
When we rebuild, we make it better than before. And we can play there again, at peace.

Yes... Eavesdropping has been the highlight of my week... so far

What in your life needs to be re-built?  How can you help make that happen?

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