The Winner

The Winner

I was watching some little kids play soccer. These kids were only five or six years old, but they were playing a real game – a serious game – two teams, complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents. I didn’t know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing – I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same. The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just call them Team One and Team Two. Nobody scored in the first period. The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and terribly inefficient. They fell over their own feet, they stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed it but they didn’t seem to care. They were having fun. In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs, except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The game took a dramatic turn. I guess winning is important even when you’re five years old — because the Team Two coach left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no match for them. Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the Team One goalie. He was

View Full Post

;

The Seed

The Seed

In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.” One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept

View Full Post

;

Love Notes

Love Notes

A mother named Antoinette Kuritz shared this idea of hers and we sure can pick this up and apply it to our own kids. Antoinette says: From the time each of my children started school, I packed their lunches. And in each lunch I packed, I included a note. Often written on a napkin, the note might be a thank you for a special moment, a reminder of something we were happily anticipating, or a bit of encouragement for an upcoming test or sporting event. In early grade school, they loved their notes. They commented on them after school, and when I went back to teaching, they even put notes in my lunches. But as kids grow older, they become self-conscious, and by the time he reached high school, my older son, Marc, informed me he no longer needed my daily missives. Informing him that they had been written as much for me as for him, and that he no longer needed to read them, but I still needed to write them, I continued the tradition until the day he graduated. Six years after high school graduation, Marc called and asked if he could move home for a couple of months. He had spent those years well, graduating Phi Beta Kappa magna cum laude from college, completing two congressional internships

View Full Post

;

The Dress

The Dress

Do you like my dress?” she asked of a passing stranger. “My mommy made it just for me.” She said with a tear in her eye. “Well, I think it’s very pretty, so tell me little one, why are you crying?” With a quiver in her voice, the little girl answered. “After Mommy made me this dress, she had to go away.” “Well, now,” said the lady, with a little girl like you waiting for her, I’m sure she’ll be right back.” “No ma’am, you don’t understand,” said the child through her tears, “my Daddy said that she’s up in heaven now with Grandfather.” Finally, the woman realized what the child meant, and why she was crying. Kneeling down she gently cradled the child in her arms and together they cried for the mommy that was gone. Then suddenly the little girl did something that the woman thought was a bit strange. She stopped crying, stepped back from the woman and began to sing. She sang so softly that it was almost a whisper. It was the sweetest sound the woman had ever heard, almost like the song of a very small bird. After the child stopped singing she explained to the lady, “My Mommy used to sing that song to me before she went away, and she made me

View Full Post

;

The Miracle

The Miracle

When a young child dies, we are advised not to tell the parents we know how they feel because the depth of their anguish is something we can’t really imagine. I do know how they feel, if not for the months and years to come, at least for that crushing moment when they realize their child is gone. I have always had a hard time talking about the day thirty-five years ago when my sister’s home, next door to mine, was consumed by fire. My sister was gone somewhere, as was my father who lived on the other side of me. In my own home, there was a lot of confusion because relatives were there with a new baby and my father-in-law had also shown up unannounced. In the midst of all that confusion, my sister returned to her home and found it in flames. At that point, we immediately began to search for our six-year-old son. We could not locate him. My sister never locked her door and our little boy habitually ran in and out of all three houses lined up on our street as if they were all his own. We immediately feared he was in the burning house. My husband and my sister’s husband risked their lives trying to get inside but could not. By the

View Full Post

;

Grandfather’s Table

Grandfather’s Table

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated at the mess. “We must do something about grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he sometimes had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. Their four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl

View Full Post

;

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!