100 of 1000 – Sprinkle Love

So, it’s my turn! (1/19)

I don’t know how all these Moms did it. Even though I have had a long, long time to think about all I have to say and have had the advantage of reading 982 tips, I am still at a loss.

In preparing to deliver my own tips, I immediately feel a deep appreciation for each moment of thought shared by others. I burst with gratitude for the 99 Moms who fought through the uncertainty and self-doubt.

I compiled my tips, I had eighty-eight.

Some changes were made and I decided to consult with a mathematical genius (Big Mike). We recalculated, leaving me only eight-teen tips. Yikes!

In venturing into this taxing arena, two things gave me comfort:

1) I could cheat. I noticed many Moms before me had tucked numerous tips under one heading and created sub-sections. Brilliant! I adopted this ever-so-clever strategy.

2) Although I didn’t have room for ALL my thoughts and tips, I could write another book, I will write another book. I started my second book, 100 Dads 1,000 Tips, 1 Million Reasons.

I was comforted to know that whatever I couldn’t fit here, I could continue in my next project in, The Bonus Chapter. Stay tuned

With some comfort, still I struggled with where to start, how to start, how to choose and which tips to choose. This is a real undertaking.

Me, “Sprinkle love like confetti,” Tip 1.

In my case, I ‘sprinkled love’ by hugging and kissing and in every meal I cooked. I sprinkled love at routine and random times. I decorated with love, framing art and fun memories. I added love notes to lunches, showed up in unexpected ways, shared happiness, talked softly, smiled often and maybe most importantly, I lit up every single time Michael entered the room.

I’m not sure where I first heard that phrase, but I love it. You really can’t love too much, and you also can’t demonstrate it too much.

Coincidently, hugs are mentioned in both the second tip, and second last tip, of 1000 tips, second only to love and happiness – which of course hugs will contribute greatly to both. Collectively, it seems, love-confetti is encouraged at the beginning, and throughout, the parenting journey. A good mantra: When in doubt, hug it out.

I imagine love sprinkles to be in the air like the fluffy attachments of a dandelion – softly lifting, and softly falling. It’s one of life’s mystery as to how anyone could not see the value in a hug, hugging, and hugging some more.

Why do we all not sprinkle love like confetti?

Coming from a home absent of joy, I can only imagine what a difference love-sprinkles would have made. I understand, however, if people don’t have love-confetti, and have never seen love-confetti, and do not know where to get love-confetti, then they just can’t sprinkle it.

Fortunately for me, my Grandfather had love-confetti! He had so much love-confetti! Although he died before I was 10, I have never forgotten the way he made me feel.

Acey,” called me on the phone to sprinkle it, he picked me up on Tuesdays and sprinkled it, he sprinkled it with candy, presents, and with hugs. He lit up whenever I entered the room, and even came looking for the room I was in.

There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” WOW – that’s a lot to deliver in the hectic world of parenting.

I guess I would argue, in a hectic world, we cannot afford to not deliver an abundance of hugs. I believe the hugs will serve as a suit of armor for kids. Thosewho get them, will be far better prepared for the school yard battles, and any unknown treachery that awaits.

Almost a quarter of the Moms mentioned hugging. Moms promote hugs as the way to say hello, good bye, good morning, and good night. They suggest using them for happiness, sadness, confusion, fear, and even with tantrums.

Hugs are so magical, they can help release sadness, while capturing love, simultaneously. Hugs are everything Moms say, think, and believe them to be. Remarkable!

Hugs, although literally within reach for us all, still for some completely inaccessible. If hugging seems weird, and uncomfortable, I hope all parents will hold the hug until it no longer does. Hugs have a way of changing things, and people.

In my parenting, I ‘sprinkled love’ by hugging and kissing a lot. I sprinkled it in every meal, in every snack, and even in between. Those fluffy dandelion attachments were in our home more than dust mites. Love was sprinkled like confetti.

I decorated with love, framing art and fun memories. I added love notes to lunches. I cheered love loudly at sporting events, and whispered loved softly during teaching, disciplining, and throughout difficult times.

I wrapped him up in loved-filled hats, love-filled mittens, and cozy, love-filled boots. I showed up in unexpected ways, spent time, shared happiness, talked often, listened closely, and smiled everywhere I could.

Most importantly, throughout my parenting, I had the therapy, the support, and he mentors that together enabled me to find the strength to light up every single time Michael entered the room!Where he was, there was sure to be love-confetti.

If you sprinkle love like confetti, you won’t have to clean up much at all!

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