Monthly Archives: February 2014

It Takes One To Grow One

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It Takes One to Grow One

In one of my latest blogs, (Today Do This...) I discuss a favorite piece of advice quoted from a celebrity; “always be kind.” I noted that being kind was easy to do. Another topic I touch on in my blogs is worry. Something else that is also easy to do. And also very relatable. Everyone does it, but how good are we at keeping it in the background versus the foreground? Especially once we have children. The first child born commences more than enough worry from both parents, but you come to find as time passes that all of your worrying wasn't necessary. Those horrible worries never transpired for many of us. You worry most about accidents and injury and health problems.

In your past life, a friend’s child with a cold was just a child with a runny nose. Once you have your own child, a cold will surely turn into pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll check on them to make sure they are able to breathe through the night. You’ll feel their chest to ensure it rises and falls with each breath. You’ll feel their tiny head to make sure they are warm with life.

If they live through the first part of their life, you will then worry about what friends they will choose, what activities they will become involved in, how they behave in school, will they lie, steal, do drugs?

 When my son was 14, he had asked me if he could see a movie that I felt he was too young for. He really wanted this but my answer was always no. In one of his last attempts at trying to convince me that I should trust him, he explained that it wasn't as if he was a drug-addicted teenager or binge drinker. And how I should be thankful for who he was. (And I was.) But I told him that he also had to think about who his parents were, and it contributed greatly to who he was. And that my decisions were always based on my concern and care for him. He lost the argument and didn't get to see the movie. But one year later, he had been talking with his friends about planning a trip to Busch Gardens that summer without parents. He asked me if I would allow him to go if they all decided to do it. It took me only a few seconds.

I knew a normal response would be,”no, you’re too young.” But that was a normal response, and it would be cheating him of my genuine thoughts. I searched in my mind for reasons as to why he couldn’t go and I couldn’t find any. So I simply said, “yes.” It didn't take him any time at all to ask, “Why!?” Surely because he expected a “no.” “Because you've never given me any reason to say no.”

He and his friends didn't end up doing the trip that summer, but we both discovered in a simple moment that he was trusted in a very big way, making him and me very proud of him.

 So look at yourself. Look at your spouse. Chances are good that your child will be just like you. Your habits. Your morals. Your personalities. So if you find yourself worrying that your child might one day become a convict, look at yourself first. Then realize that if you're not one, it’s very unlikely that they will become one.

They truly don’t fall far from the apple tree. If you are proud of the family that you are, it’s safe to say that you will be proud of them. If you allow your husband to insult you and talk down to you, don’t be surprised when your son will one day begin doing it.

They are learning as they are growing, including the age where they think that they know everything. If you always support them and never give up on them, they will know that they are worthier than what your worries amounted them to.

Worry is wasteful. Contemplation is good. It helps you to consider problems that MAY arise and how you would handle them if they did. But worry is just stress dressed in a different dress. 

It gives you no enjoyment and no steps forward.

So let your child make those steps forward. Don’t worry about the falls and the hurts and the hurdles, because they are all supposed to happen. It will make them stronger. 

~~Katherine A. Rayne~~  

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People are Purposed

February 19,  2014

People are Purposed

We are given a certain amount of time Here. What we decide to do with it is up to us.

Worrying is the biggest precious-time waster. It pulls us to the sidelines of our journey until we again move it out of the way.

If we asked God what our purpose is here, what would His answer be? There’s the food chain, miraculous all on its own, but I wouldn't guess being a part of it is the reason we are here.

To be able to watch the amazing sun rise and set, day after day? To document everyday miracles like creating oil out of dinosaur fossils, how the trees create the air we need to breath, to discover how the continents on earth all seemed to fit like puzzle pieces so many years ago? I don’t think God worried about whether we would discover or study those things or not. I can’t speak for Him. But along with all these other miracles, I think He put us here to leave imprints behind.

And not to worry about what others judgments would be of them. If we are feeling less valued in the world, it is not because of what others think of us, it is due to what we think of ourselves. It means that we intuitively know that we aren't making the imprint that we are capable of.

It means that we need to do more first for ourselves, so that we can do more for others and feel our value.

How will we raise our children? Our children don’t belong to us. Their sweet souls are lent to us. Entrusted into our care. The way we raise our children is part of the imprint that we leave behind. Will they respect the world and others because we came into their lives? Will they know that their purpose depends solely on them and their decisions as THEY move through their life? I believe in God and am not ashamed. There are so many good things in life that people are ashamed of. When my son was a second grader, he decided that it was embarrassing for his mother to kiss him good-bye at the carline drop-off at school.

What we do in that one breath of the morning will help decide who they can be.

I jokingly told him that next time, I’ll wear my ruby-red lipstick and kiss him all over his little face before he exits the car, and then kindly told him, “Don’t be embarrassed about love. Be embarrassed about hate, but never be embarrassed about love.” In those few precious seconds, I encouraged a very sweet soul to stay sweet. Thirteen years later, he has never stopped kissing, hugging and saying “I love you.”

We leave an imprint everywhere we go and on everyone we meet. Make it pretty.

~~~Katherine A. Rayne~~~

Today, do this…

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Today, do this...

Today it’s weekend. We are all going in different directions to accomplish everything on our list or on our minds. Mindless to other people’s lives for a short time, only mindful of ours. It will all get done (or it won’t), but there’s many things that we can accomplish meanwhile.

Jodi Foster once said during an interview that her mother told her to “always be kind” in life.

Out of so many quotes and suggestions and advice over my years, that one always stays with me. I think it’s because it’s so easy to do. And to remember. If we wanted to define it in more words, the only ones I would use to further enhance it would be to say, “always help.” Help others, help the world, help yourself. That says so much in so little.

Less is always more with me. Unless it has to do with kindness and helping. Then more is so much more.

So when you go out today, take your recyclable bags to the grocery store or even department stores and convenience stores and farmer’s markets. If you don’t have any, buy them and use them. If you see someone in the grocery store parking lot finishing up with a cart, take it over for yourself and bring it into the store. If you see an upfront parking space and someone else is vying for the same one, pass it by and park elsewhere.

Thirty more steps are good for you. You’ll be helping yourself and another at the same time.

When your child wants to show you something before you jump out of the car for yet another errand, stop and turn around and let them show you, instead of while on the run. It’s a simple moment in time and I promise it won’t be wasted. Before you choose a gift for yet another birthday party, ask yourself if it is a gift that will make them feel good. Does it smell good (candles, flowers), taste good (their favorite food), sound good (music) or make good (crafts, something pretty to look at)? Make it “feel” good.

 Another thing to do today is to think positively throughout your day.

I love being a preschool teacher. I couldn’t list all the reasons here. But a habit you create within yourself while teaching children is to always be looking for the good. The positive actions, the kind behaviors and the kind words. You compliment them all day long on the good things you see them doing. When I leave school, I’m still doing it subconsciously and consciously. I drive away looking for blessings. The clear sky yesterday. The trees reaching into it. So when you have an opportunity to complain about the long lines or the crowded roads, look around while standing there and look for your blessings. Your cart full of blessings. Your healthy legs to stand. The fact that you are driving a car and not waiting at one of the bus stops. The laughter and silliness of your children while they pass the time.

And always be that mom that not only tells her daughter to “always be kind,” but be the one that shows her how to do it.

The blessings travel right along with us all day long. See that and be that. All day long.

~~Katherine A. Rayne~~

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Miss Labeling

Friday, February 7, 2014

Miss Labeling

We love to label. Sometimes we allow it to determine who we are or who they are. We hear it often. She's "autistic." He has "ADHD." He's a "clutz." I have a "hang nail." (No, I just cut my nail too Many, many times we truly need the labeling to help determine how an individual can be helped, but even as a teacher, I still don't like the labeling. I'd rather say, he doesn't like loud noises. Or she likes her pasta separate from her vegetables. Or he waves his arms out of excitement. There's the story about the twin girls who were studied since birth after being adopted out to separate families. When interviewing the parents to compare any similarities that the twins may have had while being raised apart,

one mother replied, "she won't eat ANYthing unless we put cinnamon on it." The other mother said about her daughter, "she'll eat ANYthing if we sprinkle a little cinnamon on it." A sentence can change the difference of who your child is to you. You don't even have to change her or fix him. 

My daughter is healthy. And so is an autistic child. My daughter thrives. And so does a child with ADHD. He isn't a clutz, he just falls down a lot. We could ALL find ways to label ourselves. (What is that disease when you have to clean before a cleaning lady comes?)

I would never play down the differences of children who need that extra help and attention. It can be a completely different life having children who don't need extra help and effort.

I remember years ago when my husband and I were seeing a marriage counselor. Our counselor was determined to look at me and see "depression" so that he could prescribe anti-depressants. "So doctor, you're saying to me that if my husband cheats on me, feeling shitty is not "normal??"

I chose the route of going through the shitty feelings. I would never blame anyone for taking the alternate route.

But I felt I needed to feel shitty, so I could work out the shittiness. To me, tears felt cleansing.

So you could totally call me depressed at the time, but I chose to describe it as a woman going through tough times because her husband made her feel really shitty. To me, that was the normalcy. Not the prescriptions. I sure wasn't supposed to feel happy. Not just yet, anyway. I told my doctor that I'd rather leave the problem in my "incoming bin" until I knew how to put it into my "outgoing bin." (See how well labels can work?) Labeling can be very helpful.

Especially when it puts us on the path towards how we can better navigate our place in life.

I just proof read my blog so far and it was supposed to have a slightly comical feel to it, (it doesn't) and I also don't feel I'm making the full point that I wanted to make. I think the message I wanted was, don't take life too seriously. It makes me think of our celebrated day for Martin Luther King, Jr. I always cringe a tad at the idea of sharing with my preschoolers that someone didn't like black people years ago. I'd rather make the point that there was a great man who saw that the world wasn't getting along as it should, and he prayed for peace and solidarity. I guess I don't want to plant the idea into their innocent little minds that African-American means "different" or "unacceptable," even if it was years ago. I want them to continue seeing each other as friends that can get along with lots of love, no matter what. The difference is our personalities, not our skin. And in the same way, who we are is not about what we are labeled as. It's about what our possibilities are. Because our possibilities are endless, no matter how you label it.

~~~Katherine A. Rayne~~~

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