Love and other wonders

I played Jenga with my 8 and 6 year olds recently.

The version we have has question prompts on it for the young and fun to make Jenga jazzy.

Turns out to be a pretty cool thing to do with your kids.

What’s your most embarrassing moment ever?  Asked Jenga.

I told my children about how once in the 7th grade I tripped in the hallway and slid a few feet into a closed door in front of the whole class. 

They laughed at me.  (just like everyone else had at the time. 

I laughed too.

My daughter told me about how the boy who said he was her boyfriend denied it to one of her girl friends and his entire table at lunch one day that week.

He came over later to tell her that he didn’t mean it.  privately.

Really?  We had a good talk about respecting yourself and tossing off people who don’t respect you enough to acknowledge you.  You know, in language an 8 year old understands.

And the my son told me that his most embarrassing moment is every morning when I kiss him goodbye and his friends tease him as soon as I walk away.

And without even really thinking about it I uttered words that I have been trying to embrace ever since then:

Never be embarrassed by affection.  Embrace love every chance you get.

And I went on to ask him how he felt when I kissed him – good.

And how he would feel if I didn’t want to kiss him when I left him – bad.

And I told him to remember that next time I gave him a hug and a kiss in front of his friends.  I love him.

And that’s worth the teasing.

And I have tried to remember that for myself.  I am trying not to be embarrassed by tears.  Or be ashamed of strong emotion.  It’s honest and good and right.  It’s true.

Jenga asked us what animal we would be if we could be any animal.

And while we didn’t have any life affirming discussions about our choices (hawk,lion,dog), it was still fun.

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