Mother Daughter Book Club

The House on Mango Street

This month we met at our house and we discussed the House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. We were five moms and six daughters, in 6th and 7th grades. We had these comments:

  • the language is poetic
  • the daughter feels ashamed of her home
  • all women and girls feel that they are different
  • the women keep the families going
  • every man is suspicious
  • it’s not so great to be pretty
  • names and naming are important

The next book we read is Home for the Holidays: Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick.

I have signed myself and the girls up for Girls Leadership Institute in March. It’s expensive and I have to save some money in the coming months from my writing and teaching to pay for it.

As I was sitting in the circle last night, talking about this book with my book-loving friends, old and young, I felt we are already in a leadership group. Sharing the truths found in books is a way to talk about yourself, your values and girls’ leadership.

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Family Screen Time

Sometimes I like staring at a screen with my kids, instead of staring at our own individual screens. Tonite the darlings and I played wii. We were yelling at the screen instead of each other. I played horribly in every single wii game, especially wii Fishing and wii Ping Pong. The kids enjoyed how bad I was. They bonded over my ineptitude. That was nice that they bonded.

We were all fairly exhausted. One of my daughters had been to the Met, the other to the Natural History, my son to the basketball court and me? I played games with my colleagues in the 3rd floor conference room at the Leadership Academy. Yes, the workplace academy was a big success. As I’ve mentioned, I love this kind of thing — a chance to deepen friendships, share positive ideas, strategize, commit to change, help other people become leaders. What’s not to love! 

One highlight for our group was learning about and applying the three levels of listening.

1) Listen to yourself. Your thoughts, feelings. (And yes, insecurity lives here.)

2) Listen to the other. With focus, as if to a lover.

3) Listen to the global environment. The vibe.

It made sense. Often I’m stuck in a personal, reflective space when there is a bigger mood I could be aware of.

I would pay (and I have paid) to experience this kind of personal growth — to learn how better I can understand and use my gifts. Instead, I get paid to learn. I love that my job involves so much learning — about myself, about the other, and about the global environment.

Okay, so given that I am competitive and I have to face the reality that I may never beat the darlings at any wii games, I can console myself that I am good at other types of games. Like the game of personal growth. I am curious about the world and what makes other people tick. I love encouraging others. I hope to continue to share this openness and positivity and teach my kids to value learning and their own unique skills.

I hope that the kids and I do not lose ourselves in screens, but if we do, at times, I hope that we can always stop our individual games and learn to play together. Even if we are not gifted with the necessary hand-eye coordination.

When work becomes play — be it the work of parenting or paid work — it really rocks.