Celebrating Kids…It is not bragging. There’s a point to it all.

(Eek…many typos and a few left out words I see now…wrote from heart not a ‘Language Arts’ book….will fix them later?..or….it is me we are talking about. A blog post without typos would be inconceivable)

Dang! Whave had some fantastic opportunities to “celebrate kids” this past season…
Around house from Halloween to the end of January…there is a Cockrum Kid birthday about every 3 to 4 weeks…add in Christmas and…WOW…lots of celebrating and joy over family and friends…and children.
All of this “growing up” that is happening around my house has me a bit giddy, a bit depressed, a bit shocked, and a bit exhausted :)  
But…it in my heart …
(even if planning the birthday parties at loud kid-oriented crazy places, or accidentally forgetting birthday candles…
  or hoping that friends show up to the kid’s party, or emptying our wallets to do all of this make me PTSD-crazy and really just sorta want to hide under a tree…)
….. I know that celebrating a kid is pretty much essential to them.
I feel like a kid needs to SEE that they are loved. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate birthday party…our family party for Zane and Tye? 
We played “Chubby Bunny” and “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and it was one of the BEST birthday parties EVER because of the laughter amongst grandparents, aunts, uncles, us, and our KIDS.
But…in the “down” times when a kid sorta “hates” his family (I am not naive enough to think those those never enter my puberty-ridden boys’ brains) I think a small part of their brain remembers being “celebrated” in some way…
…from having their favorite meal made for them to singing in the loud, out-of-tune “Happy Birthday” song to him over a flaming cake.
Maybe seeing an item that was gifted to them by a special Aunt reminds them of “the big picture” and brings them back to reality a bit and off of “Puberty Planet” 
…. or maybe a younger kid has some confidence built when he or she sees loved poured over them by people…”If people love me a lot I must be a worthwhile”.
It breaks my HEART to know that some (many) kids do not get love poured over them.
Orphans stuck in an institutional environment where there is no time for even a hug. 
A child being ignored, abused, neglected within there own home.
I certainly wish these situations did not exist. I wish kids did not have to find their worth in gang membership, getting high, or running away to escape and “find love somewhere else.”
I have witnessed, firsthand, kids who have very little hope.  Children in Chase, Tye, and Aven’s situations before they were adopted.
 Kids wandering the streets of Calcutta, India or Beijing, China. 
A beautiful girl who tried desperately to get into our taxi after we toured an Orthodox Church in Rostov, Russia. 
She wanted SO desperately to “get away” and to be loved and celebrated.
These are major issues. 
How can celebrating MY kids to such a degree NOT seem selfish or NOT spoil them?
Because they know or have seen for themselves what I just wrote about orphans, begging children, and deprived babies.
My kids have seen boys shining shoes for a glass of milk on the sidewalks of Antigua, Guatemala.
They know their life is not the norm.
So shouldn’t we ‘bring it down a notch” and simply have our kids do a charity work for their birthdays and donate the proceeds to Chase’s orphanage?
NOPE.
We want to raise kids that KNOW the INTENSE love of an adult, a Dad, a Mom, Chosen Family, Family…because we ‘think’ we know what ‘might’ happen…
They will pass it on.
They will “pour their love” over others because they have felt the benefits of it and want it for others. 
They know that providing settings where they are celebrated (birthday parties, etc) is not cheap
…it is not always normal, etc., but they will know the “feeling” of such things and want it for others because we believe that a kid that has the confidence of unconditional love with pass it forward to others.
It might be to their own families. Their wives, their kids.
This means another generation of “celebrating” which means another generations of confidence and giving. 
Of pouring and helping. 
Maybe “celebrated kids” will want to celebrate orphaned, abandoned, desperate kids and will work in environments where they can do this. 
Maybe “celebrated kids” will want to celebrate others who did not feel unconditional love and will volunteer in places where they help others to find their confidence and worth again.
I think “celebrating kids” is amazing.
I do not think it is a form of bragging.
I think it is an essential form of parenting. Do I think it is a “guarantee” that a kid of mine will walk away into a life I do not understand? 
Of course not. I do not live in a bubble. 
BUT…I think “knowing you are loved” is foundational (as I have experienced it with Jim and it makes me feel like I have more worth than I did before I met him because he has shown me more of myself).
Again, the celebrating can be small. 
My Mom used to make “doubles” of every dish for dinner on the day my parents found out they were having “TWINS”.  That day, every year, made me feel wanted and celebrated. 
It cost my Mom very little but the impact was great.  
At the time, I may not have expressed my appreciation is large measure, but I remember the double dishes of jello, the double dishes of pudding, the double dishes of mashed potatoes, etc and I smile because…
 I know my parents wanted BOTH of us and were happy about two babies…one being me. 
So…these pictures are some of the “celebrating” that has occurred within birthday settings…birthday’s for Trey, Zane, and Tye.
 Since we have had some “family meteors” thrown our way in the last few years, we felt it was really important for our kids to feel celebrated by other family…to know that family doesn’t always go away…
…. but can stick around and love and celebrate and play “chubby bunny” (putting as many marshmallows in ones mouth while still being able to say ‘chubby bunny’. Gary won..23 marshmallows…impressive and hilarious)
So, after family parties…we then planned “friend” parties.
Was it a bit exhausting and sorta blew our budget? yep.
But this year the two parties felt necessary…and we aren’t even done with them all yet (Christmas got “in the way”..ha)
  It’s been a hard few years between a few important family members “leaving” along with my PTSD junk…
So….”CELEBRATE OUR KIDS” we did.

 (Chubby Bunny Winner :)

 

LOTS of celebrating…and of course there are more pictures (that I might throw in here so when my adult kids read this blog they can remember how drowned they were in love…and spring foward from it …. :)   but … these made me smile and I hope idea of “Celebrating a Kid” pays off….
We love you to the moon and back…
Chase Lee
Trey William James
Zane Landry
Tye Andrew
&
Aven Catherine Mundell
You are celebrated everyday..whether there’s a party or not or and even if you don’t necessarily “feel” it every single minute of the day…
You are Celebrated.
Now…Use It.
ALL our Love,
Your Mom and Your Dad

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Kids…It is not bragging. There’s a point to it all.

  1. Beautiful, this is the very reason I have a huge heart for bring awareness to the human trafficking problem in the USA because the wrong people are loving and celebrating our children so they can exploit them. This is why I take every opportunity to be an extension of Jesus’ love to children and compell to them who they are to God through Jesus. I love to see my children’s faces light up and how they look as if they can do anything when I cheer them on and celebrate them. Doing this for my children has caused them to trust me, have open communication, and run to me when they are in need. In America, I believe some have their definitions of love and celebrating preverted because the Bible tells us if we love our children we will discipline them and give them boundaries. So celebrating isn’t spoiling at all it can mean discipline which we hate now but will love when we grow up. BRAVO! From, Shoe Fairy

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