Keep the homefires burning… or at least at work

I have a dear sweet brother who happens to also have a great sense of humor.  Imagine Jack Black (from The Holiday and Kung Fu Panda) mixed with Chris Farley (vintage Saturday Night Live) and you get an idea.  He’s funny, creative, and kind – a great combination!

My dear sweet brother lives in Michigan where it is pretty darned cold at times.  On an especially cold day recently he came up with an idea at work to help keep everyone’s warmth factor up – or at least their sense of humor.

It all started in his office (his desk, shelves and printer are in the back center to right of the picture below). 

n655206452_1135651_20061    He decided to create a fireplace in his office (look at how big this office is!!! And with a window!!! I am so jealous!!!).  He printed off a fireplace on his massive printer… he “found” some office furniture just lying around… I didn’t ask about the faux-sheepskin rug on the floor (some things are better just left as mysteries)…

n655206452_1137430_42251… and voila!  Here’s the view from his desk.  Add some mantle decor, a plant, and the family dog and you have a friendly family fireplace just perfect for keeping spirits warm.

n655206452_1135655_41781His co-workers soon warmed to the idea and began to gather.  But try as they might, the marshmallows didn’t get very toasty…

I thought this was a fun idea – especially on a slow, cold day in Michigan.

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Pride In His Work

My youngest son has recently joined Cub Scouts.  Wolf Scouts to be specific.  He is thrilled to join the den and I am thrilled that he has an avenue through which he may make some friends outside of Occupational therapy sessions.

He loves the Cub Scout uniform shirt, he loves the idea of camping, but he is especially fascinated with the idea of earning badges (I guess this ties in pretty well with all of those behavioral positive reinforcement charts we’ve had over the years).  So, every couple of nights we look through the Wolf book and complete a few of the badge requirements. 

“Let’s go to my work now, Mommy.”

     “Your work, Sweetie?”

“My Wolf work, Mommy.  I need some badges!”

So we work on earning some badges.  The first was the “Family Fun” badge, then the “Duty to God” badge.  Accomplishing these requirements is a source of great pride for my son.  In a world where he is usually labeled as “behind” and “delayed”, where play dates are superceded by therapy sessions, and where he is starting to realize that there are significant differences between him and his typical peers, he has found a place where he can earn tokens of accomplishment just like other kids.  Tokens that mean something to his typical peers.  Tokens that show he can participate in their world.  These are a big deal, my friend.  They are proof that he belongs.  

As we mark off each item, he supervises my signature on each line to make sure I get it right.  “Very good letters, Mommy,” he says, repeating the phrase that we parrot night after night, encouraging him to mind his handwriting while he does his school homework.

The night that he finished these two badge requirements he made sure he included a report in his bedtime prayers… “I earned two badges God!  I did (what were they Mommy?)… I did the Fun badge and my Duty to you badge!  Are you proud of me, God?”

I think my son is proud of his work… and God is proud of HIS work, too.