I’ts the Little Things that Count to a Child

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.  ~Frederick Douglass

Max,-Landon-Jordan-Aunt-Hot-Dogs-Crew-Aunt-Heather-Piper-2013

Max, Landon, Jordan, hanging with the cousins! Aunt Hot Dogs is the chauffeur 2013

With New Year’s resolutions set into motion, I hope everyone makes it a point to be more loving to their fellow neighbor or family member, especially children!  Little gestures truly do matter!

It’s funny, everyone now-a-days, well maybe not EVERYONE that would be a grossly generalized statement, but many feel the need to spend money on their children.  Why?  To show love I guess.  Sometimes I’ve found myself falling into that trap, but then I step back and realize Kyle is happy even just picking rocks (yes no joke, he’s like his dad whereas they will search for cool looking rocks to collect) as he would be participating in a shopping spree.  Kyle is truly happiest when someone is doing something with him, giving him attention, showing him love, and learning something new.  Even if it’s cleaning.  Now, if it’s perceived as exciting through his own mind, even better!

Landon-Christmas-2013-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Little Landon celebrating Christmas… not as great as a parking garage, but a close second! 2013

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with spending money on a child, because my family has cornered the market with that action over the years.  But I also believe it’s the little things, sometimes the smallest gestures that mean the most to a youngster.  Those minor actions, that don’t take that much energy, and sometimes acquire no cost, are remembered and cherished above all.

I do try to live by this rule.  That’s why I take Kyle for walks in the woods, (one reason, second for exercise and third to get him off of those video games) not only do I try and get him to appreciate God’s artwork, but I try to spend those extra few minutes with him, without distraction.  (Well once he’s stopped complaining)  It’s true, sometimes playing a game of Chess or War means the world to that kid.

Mentioning it a time or two, when Kyle was a toddler of about two or three years of age, he loved sitting with me practicing his addition and subtraction flash cards.  Loved it!  Not only did he like to test his knowledge and get correct answers, but he also liked the little bit of attention and positive reinforcement.  Not much has changed since those days, and I’m happy for that!  So now, that makes me wonder how different some kids would be if they only had that little extra?  Or if they were held with love?

Landon-Aunt-Hot-Dogs-Nephew-Aunt-Heather-Piper-2012

Little Landon, a.k.a. Peanut sportin’ a suit. Looking good buddy! c. 2012

Before Kyle could speak, he would show us what he needed.  Sometimes, he simply wanted to be held, being so content sharing hugs and being in human interaction.  Seriously, no joke!  By the time I’d pick him up on Friday, that’s all he craved.  By Sunday, he was more independent, not needing as much direct affection, but the need for attention never lessened!  How many other kids are in that same boat?  I bet the true numbers are astounding.

Without dwelling on the negative, I want to share a story, almost an allegory, about a couple of great people.  When this tale was being relived to me, I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement for the child and I felt the sheer love for the toddler by the couple.  This is one of those unspoken stories that mean the world to all parties involved, even a bystander like myself.

Forgive me for any inaccuracies, for this story was told to me this past fall, not out of bragging but out of pure love and wanting to share the experience.  A good friend of mine, let’s call her Aunt Hot Dogs was spending time with her nephew, Landon (actual name, which in English means “long hill” – this is relevant).  Good old Lando, also known as Peanut (which is funny because that’s what my dad used to call me) was three years old.  So far, in his short, yet very important life, he has shown an affinity for parking garages.  Yes!  He is infatuated with the ramps on parking garages.  You have to admit, that makes him even more of a cutie!  Seriously, a precious little munchkin and to have that as an interest just melts your heart.

Landon-in-building-gear-Aunt-Heather-Piper-c-2013

Looks like Landon is ready to go & work on those parking garages! c.2012

Anyway, Aunt Hot Dogs and Uncle Mike live near a hospital.  Naturally, near a parking garage, Landon’s golden kingdom.  One day, as a treat Aunt Hot Dogs decided to push him in his stroller up the ramp of the parking garage.  Can you imagine?  It was like a kid going to Disney World!  His eyes probably were bulging out of his head with excitement over seeing his dream come true.

Without having to say it, but I will, the kid was thrilled!  Then, to top it off, to really add to the moment and make it so much more special,  Aunt Hot Dogs and Lando peered out over the railing.  In the distance they could see Aunt Hot Dog’s and Uncle Mike’s homestead.  With the steady arm of Aunt Hot Dogs, she pointed out her house in the distance, and who was sitting on the front porch?  Yep, Uncle Mike!  To add to this thrill ride and to participate in the little man’s moment, Uncle Mike waved to the two parking garage attendants.  Those little gestures helped to make this event even more special and memorable!  What a fun time!

When me and Aunt Hot Dogs went running that very afternoon, she couldn’t wait to tell me about her feature story.  She was so excited about Landon’s perfect day and being a part of it, she was beaming from ear to ear and laughing.  Let’s face it, it is kind of funny for a kid to be entertained by walking through a parking garage.  The point was, everyone was elated!  That little Peanut pulls on her heart strings, but I can certainly see why.  He is a gem!  I was excited about the activity, it even made my day!  Those small moments, the unplanned ones, the basic simplicity of life is just plain awesome!

Granted, Landon probably will not remember the incidence, at least not in long-term, but the feeling associated with his Aunt Hot Dogs and Uncle Mike will always be there and strengthen with each activity.  It just took a few minutes to mean the world to this little three year old, and to shape that child into an even better young man.

I wish I could do that with Kyle, but alas those days are gone.  Parking garages don’t mean nearly the same to Kyle as they do for Landon, I don’t think they ever did.  Plus, I hate to say it, I get claustrophobic and I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that.  So major cudos to Aunt Hot Dogs and Uncle Mike!  Now, if we were on go-carts, maybe!  Nope, I’ll leave the parking garage dream to Landon!

Let Aunt Hot Dogs and Uncle Mike be the example of what family and bringing love is all about!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Random Fun Fact: St. Valentine’s Day

Don’t compromise yourself.  You are all you’ve got.  ~Janis Joplin

Happy-Valentines-Day Aunt Heather PiperBeing astounded by Fun Facts, I decided to share my findings with everyone.  Sometimes I come across this information online, via television, books, word-of-mouth, etc.  You get the point.  This material is basically what I find interesting and it’s caught my attention for one reason or another, usually at random.  Enjoy!

 

 

Random Fun Fact!

Since today is indeed St. Valentine’s Day, this isn’t really random but still fun nevertheless.

  • Historian’s link today with a celebration occurring ever February 15th.  What was this you may ask?  Basically the men stripped down to reveal the full moon and more.  While going commando, they would spank young maidens with animal-skin whips to promote fertility.

Maybe this was the inspiration for the 50 Shades trilogy.

  • Present day, St. Valentine’s Day is not only observed in the United States but also in Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and the U.K.

That’s a lot of love!

  • St. Valentine was noted for a clergyman in ancient Rome.  At the time marriage was outlawed because of a belief of the emperor.  He felt the union of man and wife during wartime made for a less effective soldier.  Bishop Valentine performed the covert missions of marring couples.
  • 200 years after the death of Bishop Valentine in 496 A.D., then Pope Gelasius I, officially declared Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14th.
  • Handmade Valentine’s Day cards were said to be exchanged, not mailed by the US Postal Service or emailed or Facebooked, they were handed to one another around the 17th century.
  • In the 1840’s, the first mass-produced cards began.

Hence the decline of homemade cards, until scraping booking came to mainstream.

  • There are 1 billion cards sent each year worldwide, according to the Greeting Card Association.  Ya, that’s what I thought, ‘We have a Greeting Card Association?’.  Is it censorship for cards?  Anyway, they also state that more than half Americans purchase at least one card.

 I mailed a Valentine’s Day card to Kyle.  It included a kitty that looked like Storm, flying through the air.  The inside said something about a hug.  Inside the card I send four multicolored Lego erasers.  I thought he’d get a kick out of that and the card would make him smile.

  • Still yet, the Greeting Card Association assures us that Valentine’s Day cards are the biggest greeting card holiday in the United States, after Christmas naturally.
  • As per a survey conducted by American Express, 56% of Americans plan on using digital to get their Valentine’s message across.  Of the group 29% will text love messages, 29% will post to Facebook, 23% will send email, 20% will send an e-card.

Priceless…for everything else there’s American Express (had to say it!  Great commercials!)

  • As per the National Confectioners Association, now that’s one I would like to join, reports Valentine’s Day is spoken in 1 billion dollars of sales each year.
  • Of the 1 billion spend on sweets on Valentine’s Day, 75% are chocolate, which since the 15th century has been considered an aphrodisiac
  • In 2009, 8 billion candy hearts were made.  If they were lined up, they would reach from Italy to Arizona 20 times.

That’s a sweet trip!

  • Valentine’s Day gifts, meals and entertainment costs the average consumer about $130.  Men usually pay about $287 compared to women $164.

Why are women paying for anything?

  • As of 2013, 51% (5 in 10) of women are likely to gift a meal or tickets and 41$ (4 in 10) will give jewelry and flowers.

Where’s the chocolate?

  •  The National Restaurant Association guesses 25% of American adults will eat out on Valentine’s Day.  This is the second busiest dine out day next to Mother’s Day.
  • These diners are estimated to dish out #3.9 billion on grub, with an average $142.11, plus gifts.

 I guess it’s no longer the thought that count.

  •  World Record: On 2/14/11, 14 couples competed for the longest kiss, which was previously set at 32 hours.  This took place in Thailand.  The rules for the event included:  contestants couldn’t sit, sleep or separate.  One person fainted within a half-hour into the challenge.  The winning couple lasted 46 hours, 24 minutes and 9 seconds.  They were awarded $3,200 and a diamond ring.

MSN News Aunt Heather Piper

 

posted by auntheather in Church,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,LEGO's,News,Observation & Imagination,Random Fun Facts,Reminiscing,Travels and have No Comments

Love Today!

Where there is love there is life.  ~Mohandas Gandhi

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Even though martyred saints whom this day was originally celebrated have nothing to do with romance, courting or the symbolist heart shape, I still would like to honor it as a day for love.  I mean how can anyone go wrong devoting a day for loving others and showing love?  There is always so much hate, destruction and corruption in the world, a day to remind ourselves that we have the ability to love and we are all in essence brothers and sisters, is a good thing.  Since God emanates the purest love imaginable, and there is no specific holiday to celebrate God, I like to think of St. Valentine’s Day, as a celebration of God and his pure boundary-less love.

I hope everyone has the opportunity to love someone, as well as receive love, whether it be from family, friends, or a special someone.  Love comes in different packages, takes on different shapes, and is marked with different priority levels.  In my opinion, there is no greater joy than to love a child. Yes, I love my family whole hardheartedly, and I miss my brother terribly, but the truth is Kyle has cast rays of light and love over us all.  It’s amazing how one little boy can overshadow grief and confusion with innocent pure powerful love.  Of course, he was sent directly from the hands of God Himself.  That was the package God’s gift of love was presented to us.  The best package ever!

Take the time to heart someone today!

Valentine-from-Kyle-Aunt-Heather-Piper

My Valentine from Kyle when he was around 5 yrs. He loved saying "Flame On" - Fantastic Four

 

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Church,Education & Learning,Family,Observation & Imagination and have Comments (3)
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