Friday, January 13, 2006


"Keep it simple, sister!"

I paid good money to have a professor at university tell me this in Business 101. And I know this is particularly true when it comes to children. However, I had a good reminder of this SIMPLE truth at a birthday party yesterday.

It was a "princess party". Everyone had been instructed to dress up in costume for the affair - girls as princesses and boys as princes. Both of my sons had a grand time putting together their costumes. The anticipation of the event was half the fun.

My friend, "mother of the birthday princess", had planned a simple craft for the kids. She planned some games (like "Prince, Princess, Pauper", instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose"). The food was perfect for a mid-afternoon snack - cheese and crackers- and the menu was completed with a princess birthday cake. Throw in some balloons and you've got a kid-friendly birthday party.

The success of the party, however, came to light, as I was recapping the afternoon with my 5 year-old son. With glowing eyes, he talked about his costume, and how excited he was that the grandfather of the birthday girl had saluted him. (He was a prince after all!) This SIMPLE act obviously touched his heart.

Later at supper, we got the 2nd recap of the "event", as my son proceeded to describe the "Prince, Princess, Pauper" game, in great detail, to my husband. Again, the SIMPLE game somehow grabbed his attention with the amusing twist in names.

Finally, as I was tucking him into bed, my prince made the comment that he wished every day was as special as this was. As special as this was? It wasn't a "Martha Stewart" kind of special event. It was a fun, age-appropriate, not too long, not too fussy, SIMPLE kind of special event.

This "KISS" lesson has encouraged me to try and add more SIMPLE special events to our life. Maybe in February it'll be a "backwards day", and in March a "green day", etc. Of course, they can't come too often, or they won't be special anymore. But with a little bit of dress-up, a little bit of games, and a little bit of heart-felt communication, these SIMPLE events will make my children's lives just a little more special.


Kim from Hiraeth said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!

Not sure what the ages of your children are, but if they are around the preschool age, they might enjoy green eggs and ham for lunch some time. I used to do it with my boys and once a year in my preschool class rooms.

The eggs were scrambled (never did figure out how to make just the yolks green) and I found that deli ham is easier to dye green. I never once had a child point out to me that the eggs weren't scrambled in the book; they were just enchanted with the idea of "real" green eggs and ham!

sharon said...

I am glad to read that the boys enjoyed being treated as princes. It reminds me of a friend at Capernwray who always called me Princess because he always wanted to remind me that I was the daughter of a king. It's fun that we can be princes and princesses everyday.
Oh and I paid money to be told Keep It Simple Stupid - you must have had nicer teachers than me!

Kim said...

You moms who do special things like that are such an encouragement to me. I think I was a rather boring mother to young kids. I read to them and sang to them and stuff, but my creativity was pretty limited.

Alyice said...

What a wonderful story! It was a beautiful lesson for all of us, "keep it simple." How often do we try to fill our children's lives and our own with so much busyness that we forget to rejoice in the simple things. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!