In reviewing several aspects of the Family Forward retreat here in the last week, I thought it would be most important to end our recap with a bit about the main goal of the conference -
Building Super Families!
A the sessions, hosted by National Geographic Kids, engaged our whole family in a communication and team work activity to identify our family’s strengths and the characteristics that make us a Super Hero Family!
After a summer of amazing activity, over-indulging our senses, and spending a lot of time together I was truthfully a bit frustrated with our family's lack of super delightful powers.
The session began with our family reading a series of short articles about special creatures in the animal kingdom and relating their super powers to characteristics found in each of us. We quickly recognized the lion cub's playfulness as one of Gabe's super powers. Kevin is a lot like a cheetah who gets up early to provide food for his family and moves quickly on his feet as he works. Gavin enjoys music as a language, just like a dolphin. We continued the list comparing our family to individual animal families and encouraging each other with the connections we made...although, I'm still not quite sure if comparing me to the Queen Bee was a compliment ;).
Long after the session was over I found myself focusing on the super powers my kids were demonstration, which I was afraid might have been taken over by the kryptonite that is summer vacation.
The drive time alone was a test of patience for our young children. The theme parks also demanded patience as we waited in lines. As engaging as all of the sessions were for families, it still takes patience to listen attentively when the world of characters and roller coasters are just outside the door. For some of our family members just waiting for the pool to re-open after the daily afternoon thunderstorms was a test of patience. Their display of patience in all of these situations was exceptional.
It was a delight to watch the kids demonstrate their super imagination power as they played in Curious George's ball factory, created toy props out of duct tape, made up stories about each of their special Kukui beads, and entertained themselves on the car ride to and from Orlando.
During each of our activities one of our kids would share a random, "Thank You!" "Pinch me!" "Are we really doing this?" "Is this really for us?" "We are so lucky to try this." "I can't believe we are able to be here." It does a momma's heart good to hear the kids express their thankfulness in whatever words fit their experiences.
Despite the long days, late nights, and a few games that put us WAY outside of our comfort zone, everyone stuck with it with smiles.
As we move into a new school year, new routines, and new challenges I will continue to remind myself how important it is to recognize and encourage the super powers it takes for my small heroes to shine!
Your kids are super too! I know it!
What super powers have you recently appreciated in them?