Of course one year winding down and a New Year soon upon us often sparks reflection and thought. Each year with children brings upon a new phase in a families dynamics. With babies life looks different, with busy toddlers life looks different, and now for me with an early adolescent (who by the way, knows EVERYTHING) and shall we say a lovely and "spirited" toddler, life looks different! Some phases are more physical and tiring, and some phases are more emotionally trying (each adding a little more "character" to our aging faces). This could probably be best defined by travelling with young children. Playpens, car seats, strollers, high chairs, luggage, bottles, diapers, slings, bibs, wipes, the list is endless - the security people would gringe when we walked up, all of us in a full sweat! But as they get older the "stuff" gets less and travel becomes a little easier and calmer, shall we say?
At one point in my life I didn't even know if we would be able to have children - and now I am blessed with two amazing little girls who have enriched my life beyond words. Life certainly would have looked different.
Cailin being my first Bean, paved the way towards Peekaboo Beans, by offering me the simple insight of the need to empower children and to give them tools to learn about life through play. So now Peekaboo Beans offers life tools based around their clothing to dress with ease, to delight in dressing themselves with a mix and match "daddy proof" system, to allow for comfort and relief of irritating fussy clothes, and to be stylish to boot and most of all to just let them play.
I have many friends who have boys and me being the mom of two girls, I delight in the differences of what life would look like had we had boys. Oh how I would love to dress them up in that A+ Argyle Zip Up Jacket! So in celebration of the other half of the population we are having a BOYS ONLY WEEK, starting on January 17. We encourage you to send pictures, tell stories and delight in the wonderful little boys out there. We will be having contests, posts and an amazing opportunity to introduce your friends with boys to the product with some fabulous online BEAN-IFITS! You won't want to miss this one. Have girls? Refer a friend and get a fabulous set of our girly girl arm bands or a headband!
For now, enjoy today - because tomorrow, life will look different....
It would be really helpful if at the hospital when your baby was born they handed you a manual, just a simple one. If it could just lay out in a nice step by step format, how to raise a healthly, happy, well adjusted child and thus adult. It would just take out a lot of the guess work and well, make life a little bit easier....right? Unfortunately, they don't. So we have to navigate the best we can with the gazillion "manuals" out there, coupled with some common sense and instict. Sleep Manuals, Discipline manuals, Feeding manuals and education manuals and so on and so on and so on!
What is best? I sometimes feel there is a fine line between engaging my 7 year old in various extra curricular activities and giving her the freedom and space to play or just relax. Both are so relevant and important in life. I had a defining moment a few days ago, when my daughter performed a Tap Dance number in a school wide Talent Show. The gym was full of hundreds of kids and out of 50 kids that auditioned, 20 made the show. So several children so bravely performed their numbers. You could tell which performances were a hit with the crowd and you could tell when the crowd got shifty and ansy for ones that were less interesting to them. Then a young asian boy came up with a Cello in hand, he was in grade seven. He looked shy but confident. As he approached the stage is fellow classmates, being grade 7 and all - heckled him, laughed with each other, and joked around almost uncomfortably. The little boy gently placed the bow on the cello and began to play, I was nervous for him, but as he played the crowd noise died down, the hecklers became still, the crowd was captivated and moved. The music was stunningly beautiful and he played with such passion, almost bringing tears to the parents eyes (me specifically). At the end of the performance, the little boy stood up and took a bow. At that point the crowd cheered and roared.
I don't know if that little boys parents had put a cello in his little hands as a baby, whether he had missed out on many opportunities to just play or hang out with his friends, because he had intense cello lessons, or whether he had a nice balance of both and simply was very talented and encouraged by his parents. Regardless of either, it made me see that is important to allow them the space and freedom to find out what THEY are good at, and to support their strengths with love and praise. That this acknowledgement will give them the courage and ability to soar. And that one day, they can feel confident to walk up on the stage on what seemingly was an "uncool" performance and to show that being you is cool in itself.
Our Spring 2011 collection is called "Roots and Wings" and although it doesn't come with a manual, we hope you will enjoy the inspiration. As we watch our children grow, they are certain to fall and scrape their proverbial knees, but they will have you by their side to help pick them up and guide them along the journey...give them the Roots to Grow and the Wings to Fly....
Play....what does the word mean to me? I struggle with this a bit since I have a hard time relaxing and like many mom's, an ever growing to do list. However if there is one thing that can pull me back to reality, it is a sweet little pony tailed two year old tugging at my finger, reciting "pway mommy, pway". Now I am suggesting that this mean's "play" in her world, perhaps she just wants to pray, hmmm thinking not? In any event, I find it a struggle at times to just "be". At some points in our home there is a seven year old on a Nintendo DS, Daddy on the IPAD, Baby playing Old McDonald on the Iphone and Mommy on her laptop. What happened to a good ol' game of go fish or crib? My two year old daughter taps on my laptop like it is an Itouch and becomes frustrated when the photos don't glide across the screen with ease. Who knew that a lap top would seem dated. At Cailin's dance studio, kids wait in the waiting room, while their siblings are in class, all playing on their own Ipads, while mom and dad get caught up on various things on their phones or other gadety things during this "downtime". Although I love all these conveniences I sometimes wish they would all go away, for a bit anyhow. Perhaps this is just my own lack of discipline, I suppose I could just make them go away, if I tried. So I talk about "Play" a lot - and the importance of play. I believe it is my own desire to just sit and play. To make believe to forget about the pinging in my pocket, to truly be with my kids, to enjoy what they are saying, to relish in those precious moments that I know will all go far to quickly for me. That back to basics play that engages, that defines, that problem solves, that is creative, that is magical. When you watch children truly play, you see that the world and vision has no limits. So although I know that structure is not only necessary it is imperative for children to feel safe, learning and social growth all come from giving children the space and freedom to just "be" and just play in whatever form that means to them. Simply put, nothing can bring me more joy then to witness this, so for now, I will just pray for some time to just "pway"....:)