Christmas in July

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Holidays, Love, Magic | Posted on 30-07-2016

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Talk about Christmas in July!

On a recent vacation to Branson, Missouri, we heard there was a Santa Claus convention, bringing in jolly old fellas from across the country and around the world. In fact, many of them stayed at our hotel! Even without their red and white suits, they were easy to spot with their friendly smiles, white beards, and twinkly eyes. We proceeded to be on the lookout for the real Santa Claus.

One winked at us in the lobby. Maybe he was the one? One argued with the front desk clerk about his pillows. Definitely not him.

The next morning, one thousand Santa Clauses were to be in a special parade at 8:00 a.m.

You know how the early bird catches the worm? In our case, the early riser catches the Santa Claus. My eleven-year-old son and I practically ran, hand-in-hand, with giddiness. (My oldest son and daughter opted to sleep in instead…their loss!)

Seeing so many Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses, and elves was quite a magical sight! But which one was the one? It was like Where’s Waldo.

Smitten and with a bit of boldness, we greeted the nice gentlemen one by one and asked to pose for a photo. How could they so no to my sweet boy? They could not.

My son wished them Merry Christmas and many said see you on Christmas Eve. One showed my son a special Hawaiian signal. One showed my son his compass hidden in his sock. One let my son hold the special sleigh bells. One gifted him a magic candy cane.

After our encounters, we narrowed it down to three Santa Claus possibilities.

We left with happy hearts, curious minds, and shit-eating grins.

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Man Shoes

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Daughters | Posted on 26-02-2016

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When my daughter was a toddler, I bought her tutus and fairy wings and red shoes. Each day, I would help her dress and slip on her little red shoes and fasten the little velcro straps.

Now, at 13 years old, I bought her man shoes.

Her feet grew in the middle of basketball season. Time to hit the sporting goods store. In the women’s section, there were only two styles to choose from.

Try these! Too tight.
Try these! Too small.

OK, Goldilocks, do you need man shoes? Yes.

In the men’s section, there were dozens to choose from. Big man basketball shoes. She tried some on. They fit!

Ah, just right.

No longer in little shoes or fairy wings, she now flies across the basketball court wearing her man shoes. But still with that magical sparkle in her eye.

She once wore tutus and fairy wings.

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Rainbows

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Beauty | Posted on 05-03-2015

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Everyone knows that you can’t have rainbows without a little rain.

But what about a little car oil? ūüôā

Beauty and magic are everywhere. Sometimes you just need to open your eyes.

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The Enchanted Forest

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Metaphor, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Nature | Posted on 21-10-2014

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Once upon a time, there was an enchanted forest. With giant, moss-covered trees with welcoming branches. With a bubbling brook that sang. With falling leaves that danced in the breeze. With miniature mushroom fairy homes sprinkled across the clover hillside. With a lake so still, the reflections of the trees were mirrored in the waters.

A girl with wings gazed in wonderment. A boy with magical socks ran with glee.

This magical, enchanted forest beckoned us on a sun-kissed fall day. On that day, she didn’t wear wings. She had wings. On that day, he didn’t forget his socks. He wore his mother’s magical socks, gifted with love when his blister appeared, preventing him from taking one more step.

We didn’t go for a hike. We went exploring. Exploring a fairy tale.

All kinds of awesome right there.

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We spotted fairy houses.

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The Magical Zoo Key

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Children | Posted on 18-02-2013

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“Este es el murci√©lago. El murci√©lago come las frutas.”

Animal facts, at the zoo, about the fruit bat in Spanish. It doesn’t matter if my kids really care (or understand) what the voice inside the box says. Spanish or English. Facts about the fruit bat, the brown bear, the salmon, the mandrill…at boxes scattered around the zoo.

It’s about who. Gets. To. The. Box. First.

The $3 plastic zoo key turns into the magical zoo key. The beholder of the key holds the power.

I have bought and rebought these zoo keys about 20 times. If we show up without a key, I have witnessed whining and pouting: “We need our key!”

And it’s true. We cannot visit the zoo without a key. My two youngest children need their own keys, apparently.

It’s become a tradition. We listen to the same old “Este es el murci√©lago. El murci√©lago come las frutas.”

It’s not about the money I have spent. It’s not about the animal facts they learn or don’t learn.

It’s all about childhood and magic. The magic that only a magical zoo key can unlock.

 zoo key

It Takes a Tribe

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Parenting, Projects, School | Posted on 05-02-2013

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“It takes a village to raise a child…”

So true. But in this case, it took a tribe.

My daughter had a little not-so-little school project. She was to write her own Pacific Northwest Native American-style myth, with symbolism. Her symbol was the raven. Her myth was How the Raven Stole Straw.

In Pacific Northwest Native American culture, the raven is a creature of metamorphosis, and symbolizes change and transformation. Often honored among holy men of tribes for its shape-shifting qualities, the raven was often called upon in ritual so that visions could be clarified. Foremost, the raven is the Native American bearer of magic.

So far so good. Her myth was written. Part two of her project was to create a visual to accompany her myth. It was about 9:00 p.m. on a school night and this project was due. The. Next. Day.

We needed a little raven magic.

My daughter had visions of creating a Native American blanket. A blanket?? Dude. It’s 9:00 p.m.

“How about drawing a raven, sweetie?” When faced with a challenge, I sometimes try to find a quick solution. It was now 9:18 p.m.

But my daughter was determined to make a blanket. My husband jumped in, ready to help his daughter clarify and realize her vision. He’s great like that.

The three of us formed our own sewing pow wow. Cutting. Sewing. Gluing. Laughing.

I’m not sure what time it was when the final button was attached, but the raven spirit came through that night to transform a piece of felt into…an A.

I have heard people say parents shouldn’t help their children with homework. Whatever. Sometimes, I think, it requires teamwork and relying on the elders in the community. Sometimes, it takes a tribe.

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I’m linking up with the Yeah Write “moonshine” folks. Check them out!

Can You Bottle That?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Confidence, Connections, Daughters, Life Lessons, Love, Magic, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 10-07-2012

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You know how Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton wore vials of each other blood around their necks?

Well, my daughter and I wear vials of silver glitter around our necks–they are pendants of sorts–with the word SHINE written in calligraphy nestled inside.

Quirky art pieces we bought at a local antique store on Mother’s Day.

And while not as headline-making as the vials of blood, these vials are magical. And they have special powers.

What are their powers? They make us feel special, especially when we wear them in unison.

As we were selecting the necklaces, I told my daughter something like this: “You are special. You are full of light. You shine. Wear this proudly and with confidence. Don’t let anyone put you down and take your shine away.”

That message is important and the necklaces serve as reminders, in case we forget or in case we are having a crappy day. Because of that, they are worth infinitely more than the $15 we sprang for each one. In fact, they are priceless.

Is a Horse Faster Than a Car?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Boys, Children, Magic, Mothers and Sons, Nature, Parenting, Questions | Posted on 05-05-2012

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I love kids and their gazillion questions.

My son asks while running down a hill, “Is a horse faster than a car?”

“Uh yeah, horses are fast,” I blurted out. Magic answer. Quick answer. That’s all he wanted to hear. Hell if I know.

Then I went home and looked it up. Dang, I was wrong. According to Wikipedia:

Any car in good working order is faster than a horse on a good road. The top speed of a race horse is around 40 mph and that is only for a few miles. Horses can go where cars can not and so would be faster if crossing streams and jumping gullies and hedges is needed.

But sometimes kids need magical answers. My child was running like a horse. In that moment in time, he was a horse.

Wikipedia and your boring facts: you can suck it.

Clark W. Griswold: Meet Me Under The Mistletoe

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Pop Culture | Posted on 19-12-2011

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This year, I spread the Christmas cheer…a guest blog sent all the way to Australia to one of my favorite (favourite) bloggers there. Check out my latest post on one of my favorite (favourite) guys: Clark W. Griswold:

http://theberniebrand.com/2011/12/clark-w-griswold-meet-me-under-the-mistletoe/#comment-628