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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Monday Mottoes – #173

img_4090Right now, I’m living with some half-hatched, larvae-like kids and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Happily, things started turning around on Friday when they decided to get with the program and have a nice holiday dinner on the eve of Russian Christmas.

Girls helped with the mushroom and onion piroshki, slicing, dicing, rolling dough, cutting circles, stuffing, sealing and crimping, dropping on the floor, laughing. Boys helped with a last-minute outdoor landscaping project, rushing to move a mound of topsoil that our lawn company had dumped right before the start of nasty weather. Everyone enjoyed the change of pace and I shuttled back and forth supervising, while Benedetto put out fires of his own at the office.

All of us raced against the clock. The kids did beautifully and I saw their teamwork improving their attitudes tremendously. The sense of img_4091accomplishment heightened the holiday atmosphere.

It gave me hope for the future. And just when I started to see a glimmer of light for one of them who had been growling and grumpy for over a week, something else happened.

Letters of recommendation came from a family friend for their upcoming volunteer positions. They were so positive and powerful in their language, I started to tear up, and I’m not a weepy type of person. It was as though each young adult— and yes, he wrote four different ones— had just dropped from heaven and was running for president.

No, I take that back— angels don’t run for president. But you know what I mean.

img_4088This friend had observed our kids under a variety of conditions from summer jobs, to community volunteer service, to congregational life, to social gatherings. And he saw good in them. He reported on their indomitable spirits, creating a new life in a new land and soaring above the normal challenges. He praised their dedication to doing the right things and abilities in assisting others. He focused on their positive attitudes (he doesn’t have to live with them, lol, please don’t zap him with lightning, Lord!).

Outstanding, simply outstanding. In all of my years of reading commendations, as well as writing them for others, to have this kind of detail and depth for four children from the same family was truly amazing. He gave me copies and I immediately texted him a thank you.

Then I let the kids read their own letters written on their behalf. They were shocked and moved. I told them that loving friends can often tell us what we are not able to see for ourselves.

Which brings us to today’s motto:swallowtail

“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.” (Naya Rivera)

You have beautiful wings. You may be too close to see them in yourself or others close to you, but they are there. Spread those magnificent wings today and use them to gain some lift.

Happy Monday, everyone!
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