I’m always trying to think of new ways to communicate successfully with our young adult children. Many of our conversations are fly-by. They’re so busy walking over that threshold into adulthood – off to work, off to play golf, off to school – there’s not many chances for us to talk anymore.
And I want to know what they’re thinking about. Do they worry? Plan? Dream? And I want them to know I’m still thinking about them. Still ready to teach, to parent, and to listen whenever they need me.
This Monday, I started leaving post-it note quotes on the fridge. Inspired by R.J. Palacio’s 365 Days of Wonder, I flipped to the quote for July 20, and stuck it right there on the fridge.
(If you know anything about 20-ish boys, you know that’s a late-night hot spot.)
I said nothing. Expected nothing. But gave my sons a little bit of late-night love right there on a neon 3×3 note.
July 20 … If you want to learn about the world go out in it. – Mae
July 21 … You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretsky
By day two, I got my first comment.
“I don’t think Wayne Gretsky said that. I’ve read the same quote from Michael Jordan.”
This from one of the middle sons … the Sports Management major.
July 22 … Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. – Scott Adams
On Wednesday morning the youngest – who’s got a few goals he’s working hard on this summer – said, “Loving the quotes. Keep ’em coming.” And by Thursday morning, an orange post-it stuck on the fridge sometime during the night proclaimed in bold, black Sharpie: “I LOVE THE QUOTES. THANK YOU!”
I knew I was onto something.
I stopped following R.J. Palacio’s book chronologically, but still use it as a resource for quotes. I knew I could pick quotes with messages I wanted one, or another, or all of them to hear. I had their attention. By some stroke of good fortune or a summer miracle, they seemed ready to listen … and I had found a way to speak.
July 23 … Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt
This morning I found another orange post-it scrawled out and stuck on the fridge sometime in the middle of the night:
When the body is tired, exercise your mind. -Anonymous
A whole new brand of back-talk — born in our family this week.
And a few days of Wonder too.
Thank you R.J. Palacio.
Think of all the places we can spread a little Wonder in our lives. Classrooms. Staff rooms. Bulletin boards in City Hall. The possibilities are endless, and there’s plenty of post-its to go around.
July 24 … What you do every day matters more than what you do once in awhile. – Unknown
Where will you stick your first post-it and what will it say?