A few weeks ago, I read "The Giving Tree" to my boys. For those unfamiliar with the book, here's a brief synopsis:
Boy loves Tree. Tree loves Boy. They play. Boy grows. Boy takes apples, branches and and trunk from Tree. But Tree is happy to give, because she loves Boy and wants him to be happy. Finally, old Boy comes and just wants to sit on Tree's stump. And the Tree was happy.
When I read it to the boys, Spiderman (7) was particularly moved by the story. It made him sad. So I was surprised when he asked me to read it to him again tonight. I read it as he cuddled up to me (Hulk was already asleep). He started to get sad when the boy started taking things from the tree. By the end, there were tears running down his face.
I asked him if he liked the book. He said, though his tears, that he did.
"Even though it makes you sad?" I asked.
"It makes me happy, too," he sniffed.
"Oh, kind of like the tree, huh? The tree was sad, but also happy," I (brilliantly) connected.
We went on to have a conversation about what it means to be a good friend. Real friends give and share and make each other happy. Real friends shouldn't take and take and make the other person sad.
Spiderman was still crying, so I kept going. I told him that his dad and I loved him like the tree loved the boy. I told him we'd give everything we had to make him happy. He was STILL crying, so I said, "I'd even give up my nose feeling good to make you happy." Then I punched myself in the nose. (Not really. Not hard, at least.) But I made the appropriate sounds and he laughed. Then I "poked" myself in the eye and he laughed harder. We said a quick prayer and I left him a little sad but mostly happy.
Sometimes I worry about my Spiderman. I worry that's he's too emotional, that he's not on the right reading level, that he's too obsessed with winning and being in charge. But if he wants to read a book that makes him sad and happy.............somewhere along the way, I may have done something right.
My boys are growing out of that "everything they do is SOOO CUTE!!!!" phase, but they still have their moments.
The Hulk gets a little bored in the afternoon while Spiderman is still at school. This day, he decided to be a vampire ninja.
Can you think of a superhero that's like a vampire AND a ninja? My son can: BATMAN. So he put his pillow pet in a Batman cape.
Instagram came to Droid and so I tried to capture a few real moments with my boys. I ended up with 10 crazy and blurry pictures, 2 of which I'll share here.
You'll notice they're not in Instagram form. My phone wigged out before I could post these. I was lucky to get them onto my computer.
Kids grow up too fast.
This picture almost brings tears to my eyes. Spiderman has really struggled in reading this year, for various reasons that I don't have the time to write about. But we've finally found some things that motivate him and he's made a real turn around. This book was left on the table from the previous night and Spiderman started reading it while eating breakfast. I often read while eating -- he might be my son after all!!!
Miss Marvel is just about my favorite part of each day. She's at that cute age where her language and personality are exploding.
I walked into the kitchen the other day to see this.
She pulled the chair over and was eating brownies out of the pan.
Then a few days later, this.
I guess it's my fault for leaving the peanut butter out on the counter.
But she got the spoon all by herself. And how can I say no to that face? Plus, she's on the small side and could use a little peanut butter fat on her.
This was a daily routine for a while -- watching "woof woofs" in the morning. (And afternoon. And evening.) The girl LOVED that show. She's moving on to "princess" movies and sings along with Ariel. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Last month by brother came to visit for a few days. Miss Marvel fell in love right away. She played with him cuddled with him whenever she got the chance.
This girl melts my heart.
Here are a few pics of some fun Family Home Evenings we've had. (Family Home Evening is an activity my church encourages to further teach the gospel in our homes.)
It pleases me to say that all these FHE ideas came from Superman's brain. He's been really great about making sure we hold FHE each week, and most of the time he comes up with a fun activity and/or lesson.
Putting on the armor of God.
Spiderman will be getting baptized when he turns 8. Several of our lessons since the beginning of the year have been focused on this.A few weeks ago when his dad asked him what he wanted to talk about for FHE, he said that he wanted to know everything he needed to know before he got baptized. I expected a brief refresher on a living prophet, the Book of Mormon, and what a testimony is.
We got this:
The footsteps spelled "faith" and "repentance". On the back of each footstep was a scripture to read and discuss.
Spiderman also got to practice reading.
Both boys said this was their favorite FHE ever and asked to do it again. I think that my brother (visiting his "friend" for prom) even learned some stuff!
And one final lesson: emergency preparedness. Superman was in the Army Reserves and so some of our food storage is made up of MREs. There are 2000 calories in each meal so that you only have to eat once a day. We decided to prepare and eat a meal so that we'd know what to do if we ever had to actually eat one.
The boys loved the hot chocolate, potatoes and meatloaf, and crackers.
Miss Marvel loved the tootsie roll.
Do you have any fun FHE ideas to share?