A very warm welcome to the world is wished to River Francis Harper - beautiful baby born to R.J. and Jessica.  What a wonderful sister Claire will be!


I am always so touched when I see the sweet things that you post about your children; a common theme is sibling love.  You capture so many good shots of this!  Of course we know that siblings don't get along swimmingly every single minute, right? This is also true, of course, for cousins.


When my daughter (who has truly been a wonderful sister) was about two and a half, I asked her (upon hearing crying from her brother), "What do you suppose is the matter?"  Her answer:  "I threw him down and stomped on him."   I have never actually known whether or not this was the case, but he certainly looked fine (except for his crying face) and continues to do so.


I do remember that holidays often produced moments of stress and strife – sometimes between siblings and sometimes just in general.  Our routines and diets are out of whack and our expectations are probably too big.  (When I think of the time that I spent trying to make healthy ghost-shaped biscuits for dinner – only to find out years later that wheat is basically the same thing as sugar …grrr!)


 Since it's Halloween season (and other holidays are coming), pretend that I am dressed as a fairy godmother – and not that one from Shrek!  If I could wave a magic wand and wish for you three things, they might be these:


1.  Keep expectations for party behavior age appropriate; it's OK to happily call it a day.

     It shouldn't be thought of as punishment to go home and go to bed, if you're tired -

     right? What your kids will carry with them are the feelings associated with these



2.  When it's time to state a "rule," do it briefly and by saying what you DO want to see. 

     I was reminded of this last winter at a training called High Trust, given by Dennis

     McLoughlin.  Instead of, "Don't hit your sister!" try something like, "Kind touch!"


3.  Spirited children will never, ever consent to wear scratchy costumes – or little

     gentleman Christmas suits, or even dress pants for piano recitals.  You can ruin their

     day (and yours) by trying, but I don't recommend it.  (Safety things are non-

     negotiable, but with most other issues there is an acceptable middle ground).




 I hope that you have some fun seasonal memories of your own to enjoy – and that you're making some new ones this year.  If your Facebook postings are any indication, there's been lots of good pumpkin fun all around!