What if some of the magic memories and stories of childhood are in the hands of parents?
That's a pretty heavy burden to carry. What if we make a choice that it isn't a burden, but a joy? In a society that creates a continuous list of "musts" in order to measure up, I don't want one more thing on my list.
I'll be honest, I don't want one more thing on my list. And I am not all about making sure every moment is a fairytale moment in my children's lives. It is a constant "balancing act" of what is important in this season and what is not. I am currently reading Jen Hatmaker's "For The Love" and she writes about balance as being like a unicorn.
“Balance. It’s like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed t-shirts celebrating it, it seems super rad, but we haven’t actually seen one. I’m beginning to think it isn’t a thing.”
However, I know if I want my life to reflect what is most important to me, I must discern my yes choices from my no choices.
For the past four years, this gathering of little girls has been on my "yes" list!
Step 1. Gather Some Best of Friends
Meet the Little Women
This gaggle of girls started out as a simple, little meeting of girls one early winter about four years ago. The mothers gathered together and started a book study on "The Princess and The Kiss". We simply wanted to provide an opportunity for the girls to have some good, deep conversation about some heart issues in a safe space, with friends and mom's who understand.
We were overwhelmed at their response to the book and to the gatherings once a month. I honestly don't think any of us intended that we keep going with it after the first book, but the girls insisted.
From there we decided to take on Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women".
Thus the name of the book club was born.
Step 2. Make it Easy
So the rule goes for sure on this one..."keep is simple!" What I mean by simple is to pick books that will interest your readers. We chose "Little Women" because we knew it would hook our readers. Since then they have chosen to continue on with more Louisa May Alcott books, "Little Men" and now "Jo's Boys". We are letting them lead the way!
Read with them is the second part of keeping it simple.
I know, I know...we don't have time to sit and read the classics all day either, so here is my secret. We listen to our chapters on audio devices, either in our car while carpooling to and from activities, or on a bluetooth speaker in the homeschool room.
Lastly, we take the whole year to read one classic, only 3 chapters at a time and it makes it great for discussion and tolerable to accomplish the reading in a month. (However, I am a procrastinator at heart and we are typically cramming our chapters into two days.) As a side note, my oldest has loved reading the classics since beginning "Little Women" and has read several on her own in her spare time. That's good stuff for this Momma's heart!
Step 3. Let Them Be In Charge of the FUN!
For the first year the mom's took turns planning all the fun at the gatherings. And while we planned some really great activities, it wasn't great fun for the girls. It occurred to me one afternoon while in a tizzy to plan for that evening's book club meeting, (see I told you I do my best work in the last minute) that I would let Payton and Eden plan our evening meeting! It was a HIT with the girls. They wrote quiz questions, and did games related to the reading.
Almost always we serve some tea and have a yummy snack. Now we are allowing the kids to pick and bake the snacks, plan the activities and come up with the discussion. They love to take the lead and they have fun being the ones taking charge of an evening of fun with their girlfriends once every 4 months.
By the way the cherry scones from Epicurious.com in one of the above pictures were some of the most delectable and scrumptious things I have put in my mouth in a long time. BONUS POINTS because they are also gluten free, which is something a few of my family members deal with!
We Are Kicking Off This Year With Some Amazing Memories!
These girls have become the best of friends and I truly believe that this book club is providing some amazing memories for their childhood stories.
So why not provide them with the opportunity to make even more special moments by creating it in a special atmosphere?
It is my hope that these images will help preserve and tell the stories for years to come of the beloved book club girls.
Here are some shots from our tea party and pillow fight this past week.
Tea Cup stories
These tea cups are reoccurring characters on many book club evenings. My friend Justine has an amazing set. She says they just kind of "came to her" over the years from grandparents, in-laws, and special gifts. The girls think they are super special and fancy when Justine pulls out the tea china. It is such a beautiful hodgepodge of daintiness. One day I will have to tell you more about how Justine has inspired me in life, but just to connect some dots, her dad Hank is the man who restored my beautiful Homeschool Table.
When you let the girls lead, it is a great time of connection for the moms as well.
On your mark,
Someday many years from now
We'll sit beside the candles glow
Exchanging tales about our past
And laughing as the memories flow
And when that distant day arrives
I know it will be understood
That friendship is the key to live
And we were friends and it was good. - Eileen Hehl
I can teach anyone with a camera in their hand, how to tell their story in an amazing way! Regardless if I photograph your story or teach you how to photograph your own...my messages is always the same, "everyone has a story to tell". I beg you to start printing your images, they are our stories, they are our history and our stories.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a storyteller with your images, click the link below.
If you are interested in Holly photographing your story, click the link below.