Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yukisan - 001

We were told the Japanese word for  "snowman" was "yukisan" (YOU KEY SAN).  Akiksosan has since corrected us numerous times. The correct word for snowman is "yukidaruma" (YOU KEY DA DLU MA).  Try as I might I can never remember yukidaruma without looking it up. ::snort::  Yukisan is sweet....and so we name our snowmen - Yukisan. This year in an effort to keep them straight I will number them throughout the winter/spring. LOL

Three families of neighborhood kids worked together to construct Yuikisan 001. Our children are the constants,  others came and went as they could.  (We find our  Christmas traditions make us much less stressed than the typical family this time of year - we have more time to play in the snow). ::grin::  See our First Japanese Christmas here and if you're a new reader you can read our thoughts about our  "Quirky Christmas Celebrations" too.

Nolan, Arielle, Zander and family A add finishing touches

Our kids and Family B pose with Yukisan

Yukisan 001
God continues to speak sweet thoughts to me about how to live a life that says WELCOME to those around me, especially to strangers, those outside His family.  As the kids moved their play around the block to the "sledding hill" our "Farmer who is really a Veterinarian" creates for them each year, I moved inside.

Sledding Hill will grow as the season continues

 I know the kids thought wimpy, tropically raised mom was COLD...and I WAS.....but an idea was also stirring in my heart. Family A had come inside yesterday for hot chocolate, snacks and games.  We don't know Family B and C well enough today to invite the kids in (one we don't know parents; the other isn't comfortable with their children coming inside)......I looked for a thermos and couldn't find it. I couldn't find hot cups either.  I was going to bake cookies but feared I'd miss the opportunity. I found a Polish Pottery tea pot, made a big pot of hot chocolate, grabbed some plastic cups and joined the kids.  I told them to stick the cups in the snow when they got hot. ::snort:: It worked. I'd best go buy some "supplies" and not risk my one  Polish Pottery pot outside very often.

Hot Chocolate Break
I've deleted lots of  words....and am debating what to say.  I have an insider view of interaction in the neighborhood and I'm seeing that we have a very rough pack of gals bullying tween boys. I noted trouble earlier but thought it was all Zander's perceptions. He IS socially awkward and his perceptions are usually "off" (it's a spectrum thing)....but it's not only Zander. There's another boy obviously targeted. This winter I plan lots of love and relationship building. Maybe some sort of segregated clubs....not sure....maybe Arielle would be willing to head up some sort of "nice young lady" club or mentoring program...since the roughest are younger than she. Certainly not ALL the young ladies in our neighborhood are like this - but several (5) are.  We want to use the opportunity we've been graced with to show a different type of family interaction. We want to live His love for these kids...be His hands and feet....and I want to see results NOW. ::snort:: 

I am deleting the rest of this post. ::snort:: But to be clear, I am NOT saying young women should be second class or doormats,  or give in to male aggression etc ....I am saying it is not good to teach young boys to hit aggressive girls and girls it's o.k. to bully younger boys (as is the case) Honestly - parents raised in a pack mentality, raising young children will end up with this sort of thing. Why would we expect anything different? Why would I expect Christian values from non-Christian families?  I see the power of legacy as I watch the various legacies being lived out in these families.   I'm asking God to show us how we can impact these families and children....how we can be used to show a new norm. We ALL should be showing more grace and kindness - male or female.  It was atypical 20 years ago, when we began parenting, to worry  a girl would beat up your child (either gender) while they were playing.  Enough said - praying about how God will use our family in this setting...as HE placed us here.  I would love insight or suggestions of ideas to reach out...while protecting the hearts of our children as well.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

1 comment:

Romany said...

Mmmm...I recognise some of that in our neighbourhood, as we had a number of kids the same age as ours who used to interract outside in the street when they were all around 9-13.

BTW, in the winter snow, I was the only parent who cared about wet gloves enough to loan them dry ones or to bring out hot chocolate in hard plastic cups. {g} (We found them all in the spring.)

Honestly? The only way I can think of to impact on children that age is to invite them in, one or two at a time. That way, they were able to recognise and absorb our family's values. For eg, once, when we had a tree to cut down, Jack invited one of his friends over to help. Young boys NEED to do this kind of stuff. Other times, Grace would invite a neighbour girl to do some crafty type activity. At Christmas, we had gingerbread-making or lantern-making parties. When the numbers were bigger, we purposely upped the number of Christian friends attending to mix in with the neighbour kids.

It's a long-term project and MUCH harder to reach out when they get to be 15/16 +.