Sunday, August 31, 2008


The ABC's of Friendship
A Friend....Accepts you as you are
Believes in "you"
Calls you just to say "HI"
Doesn't give up on you
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
Forgives your mistakes
Gives unconditionally
Helps you
Invites you over
Just because
Keeps you close at heart
Loves you for who you are
Makes a difference in your life
Never Judges
Offers support
Picks you up
Quiets your fears
Raises your spirits
Says nice things about you
Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
Understands you
Values you
Walks beside you
Yells when you won't listen
Zaps you back to reality (OUCH!)


How much of that do you follow with your friendships?
I'm sure it's easier for us to pick out the "ones" that we don't get back from our friends, but when it comes to judging ourselves, is it as easy to pick out the pieces that we lack when it comes to our friends and what we should be to them in a friendship?
Is this a model that is similar to your own patterns?
Naturally we flow at certain streams and patterns throughout the lifespan of our friendly relationships. Outside influences do affect what we do or how we are towards our friends.
But the tides do return to that deep connected place that you always know will forever be there no matter what.
It's a peaceful feeling to know that, don't you think?

I think what I'm going to do with my boys is at the start of every new year, or perhaps every school year, ask them to make a list of the things that they feel they can't do. For Sullivan that cannot write yet, I plan on asking him and then writing it for him.

From there we'll have an "I CAN'T FUNERAL" and with head out back to our yard and bury the notes in a box, or store them in a place that we can pull out at the end of the year to show my boys that what was an "I Can't" is now an I CAN.

At our service we will be speaking these words as we bury the box of things that we feel we just cannot do: "Today we bury our Cant's. We will miss them terribly but we will learn to live without them."

I'm hoping that will be a nice way to show my boys their improvements. So that if they're at all like me, they'll be able to actually witness it in words versus just being verbally told so.
Sometimes it's easier to see it on paper the changes that have happened within our personalities--in a way like captured photographs.


Ever since school started there have been the 'back to school rules' that you already have read about. But what I have also created and started is every evening after a game of GO FISH, we head to Jackson's room and when he is tucked up in his top bunk, and Sullivan in the lower bunk, we begin "HONEST HOUR!"

Jackson and Sullivan take turns each night determining what "times" each of us should be. Jackson is usually twelve o'clock, Sullivan anywhere from 1:00pm to 11:00am based on who's picking the time as well as the positioning of the four of us. So just like a clock we arrange the times and move around the clock time by designated time.

Each person with their "Time" is considered their time. So when Jackson is 12:00 we refer to him as twelve O'clock, and actually say to him, "Okay 12:00 it's your turn.." We repeat that saying as each of our times are given a turn. When the person is done with their HONEST Hour, they are the ones to instruct the next person by time that it is their turn, only they must follow the way that a clock does. Have I confused you yet?

These are the questions that each 'time' has to answer, honestly when it is their place on the clock:
1. Tell us what the funniest thing was about your day?
2-What was the best part of your day--what happened?
3-What made you the saddest today?
4-What made you mad today?
5-What nice thing did you do for someone else today?
6-What did you learn today that you didn't know yesterday?

We all have to answer the questions when our time is called, and we have to answer them honestly. Naturally when it's Jackson's turn and it has to do with funniest, his answer usually is something about burping or farting. When it's Sullivan's turn to express what was the saddest part of the day, he usually says either that he missed Jackson because he was gone all day, or that he didn't get to see Dad before he left for work. When it's Jackson's turn to tell what made him mad, it usually has to do with me asking him to do chores, or not letting him go somewhere, or do something. Sometimes Sullivan will mention that he was sad when he got in trouble and cried because it made mom sad. The best part of the day for Sullivan is usually something that refers to any out of the house activity, or if he was allowed to watch TV in our bed. Jackson's usually something to the terms of not having to make his bed for the day, or being able to eat dinner downstairs in our family room in front of the TV.

No matter what our answers are, and Brian and I have our turns too, they have to be honest, and no matter what each person's answers are, we cannot talk, nor question their answers, or make them feel bad, glad, sad or mad about them.

It's giving their brain an opportunity to learn to think about their actions, to improve their 'retrace your steps' brain cells, plus it promotes family time. There have been many nights when Brian and I are just exhausted. Ben is climbing all over our laps as we sit cross legged on Jack's carpeted floor, usually Ben ends up stepping right in Brian's lap, so it's tiresome. Usually we are tired and at times cranky, crabby or just anxious for them to get to bed. There have been times where they have lost the evening ritual of playing Go Fish because of earlier behavior, but no matter what, the HONEST HOUR always plays out.

For Brian and I even when we're too tired and truly wish that I hadn't ever created this monster of a game, when the hour calling is up, we all leave refreshed in some odd way. Brian will mention things that have to do with his job which is teaching the boys about life outside their world of motion, toys, spiders and action.

They love to hear my answers of what was the funniest thing that happened to me today because usually it's something dumb that I've done. For example, when my parents had gone to San Francisco for their vacation and I had their business in my nail chipped bony hands, one morning after dressing Sullivan I realized much later on that somehow I had forgotten to put on his underwear. They still laugh about that. Or when Dad will say the funniest thing that happened to him today is when he heard Mom fart in the hallway-they LOVE IT!

It's just a nice way to end the night and I'm hoping that they'll learn from it and enjoy this special time of OUR HONEST HOUR. Where we can say whatever and not a single person in our clock is able to make a negative comment about any of their answers, because their time belongs to them and they have the spotlight on them. Anything that they answer about the sad and mad questions are put to rest with their answers and I hope by doing so they'll learn that even though something made mom sad, or dad, or made Sul mad or Jack mad is buried as the time goes to the next person.

With a new day to be aware of how to do something nice for someone, and what they learned that they didn't know yesterday.
No matter what their answers are.

Welcome to Crustybeef!
Now if I can only keep this going...
I'll have no problem as they (THE KIDS) already are asking to do 'HONEST HOUR' each night after their teeth brushing escapade.



JLee said...

That is such a wonderful idea...for everyone in the family and for you as a couple. I should try this!

Kelly Jene said...

Great idea! I may have to introduce this to the Moohaa clan!

Love and everything else!

austere said...

You've given me so much to think about on this post.

Thank you. From my heart.


Jlee; It's a great thing our honest hour game--each time 'your time' passes, we aren't to dwell on things "from the past" moving forward and showing our boys how to, after expressing themselves, is hopefully a good lesson for them.
Let me know if you do try it..but don't feel bad if there are nights that you don't want to do it--like I said there are nights when Brian and I are growling at what I created with this game. :)

glad you have a day off today at the radio! Must be nice!!!


KellyJ: introduce away---time spent with family as you know goes by fast, but no matter what happened during the day it's nice to have a friendly recap especially with so many of our families working different hours so that the considered 'norm' of around the suppertable really isn't a norm anymore...

Let me know if you do it too!

Waterfalls and parkingspots!! :)



Austie: As always, thank you! Your thought provoking prose and other styles will always have my mind raising with thoughts of "hmmm's, i wonder.."

I hope you're having a nice day and you're staying safe as I always remind you--I know, it's that sisterly/motherly thing about me, and you never take offense to it either. :)


Cheryl said...

I wish Em were your kids ages so I could follow along and do the things you're doing with them now. You're creating a family tradition that will serve you well in their teenage years.

captain corky said...

I think it works well cause not only do the kids seem to be enjoying it, but they get a little extra time before bedtime too.

And I'm all about I can't funerals, but what about about the I don't want to's? Those are the one's that I would have the most trouble with. ;)

Mo said...

Loving what you put out there for us to think about and better yet, DO.

On another note, to answer your question of what football I watched...Friday night was preseason Seahawks and Raiders.

Saturday morning I caught part of the Ohio State beat down before I headed out to watch the Washington State Cougars and Oklahoma State Cowboys. When I got home I settled in for the University of Washington and University of Oregon game.

I watch a lot of football. LOL But seriously, my team is the University of Texas. Then Ohio State followed by Washington State.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I like the ABC of Friendship you have there.

I'm sure everyone loves A to X, but Y (yells when you won't listen) and Z (zaps you back to reality)... hhmm, I think even best friends can turn enemies when too much of the truth is shared :)

simonsays said...

Great idea E---your boys are so funny---and I know you do keep them laughing. The l's in life are so important, aren't they?

Happy Tuesday!



Cheryl: You could still do something like that but make it more HS friendly--like coffee chat or whatever her favorite meal or beverage of choice is---maybe even call it REMOTE HOUR--give her the remote and she has full reins to talk about whatever without judgement..and then it's your turn with the same respect that you gave her. :)



Capt Corky: Put the 'don't wannas' with the month of August since you are not a big fan of that either. :)



Mo: WOW! You were busy this weekend...:) My cousin is actually a freshmen at the buckeye school, although it doesn't make Brian happy being born and raised in Miami--well, you can imagine who his favorite college team is--:)

Are you in any fantasy football drafts?



MOTHERCLUCK!!: True, but that's part of life, right? Plus there are different types of friendships that I'm sure we all have--and with each friend, I'm sure there are a few in there that you would tolerate a scolding from...maybe?
Yes though, coming from someone that is sensitive to things, I am the first to have my feelings hurt--do I walk away? NO--you'd have to do something really jacked up--
but depending on how they speak the truth in their tone is how the difference from break up to move up goes.





Oh they are characters, that are funny but are also hectic and can be frustrating too-take right now--both Sul and Ben are wearing spiderman masks and Sul keeps saying to Ben, "ON?" referring to the spidey mask. Ben does have his spidey mask on too, so each time Sul says, "ON?" Ben lets out the most tone deaf scream.



Brad said...

What a great idea. If you can keep this going up to thier teenage years you may have some pretty interesting Honest Hour conversations.

On second thought you might want to nip this in the bud at puberty.


Brad: I'm certain there will be some interesting comments made as they gain knowledge, age and wisdom.. knowing me, I'll prefer to continue the open door policy of parenting with honest hour when they're in puberty---might help me understand them more and might help them understand women more--
my goal in life with them? to prepare them to be good strong respectable adult men that knows how to care for themselves as well as their future forevers.


Gypsy said...

I adore your style of parenting Elizabeth. you know when your boys are full grown, beautiful men, they are going to remember all these wonderful traditions you introduced. Those are the kinds of things that stick in our memories and who doesn't love a tradition?

Loved the ABC's of friendship too. All very important in all relationships in life.