From the desk of...

Family Time…

It’s spring break here and that means more time to hang around and relax. We try to have a “movie night” on regular weekends, but the bustle of chores and events sometimes limits the time we have on those non-school nights. Our kids don’t get a lot of TV, so they really look forward to the “long movie” opportunities.

When we can, we start with a fire (Mr. Martini’s specialty…)

add in a treat or two… (specialty of mama…)

And settle in with for a family movie event. Tonight’s selection: Pinocchio.

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Produced by Disney in 1940 – my grandmother was only 30 years old when it was released – Pinocchio has been renowned by critics of every generation for teaching children the importance of hard work and strong character. Almost 75 years later, my own children were mesmerized by the magic on screen.

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Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and my all-time favourite: the blue fairy…her gentle reminders are life lessons for all of us:

“You will only become a real boy when you prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish…” – “always let your conscience be your guide…”

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Pinocchio goes on a twisting and turbulent adventure but manages in the end to be all the things the blue fairy asked of him. His conscience helps him find the way – in tails and a top hat no less!

On his journey to be “real” Pinocchio discovers what I hope my own children will eventually appreciate.

What is it that makes our time together so important?

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One of the greatest gifts of “family” is the opportunity to learn to be kind and forgiving to people we don’t always like (who may sometimes annoy us and cause havoc in our orderly world) and to let those same people be kind and forgiving to us. (We can all be annoying. It’s true.)

My love for my children is endless, but with that love comes the responsibility to teach them the same values that the blue fairy expected of Pinocchio. Honesty, effort, and selflessness are more important today than ever. I hope these moments of family time, taken out of busy schedules when so many things are asking for our attention, will stand to reinforce the things we really want to celebrate… Family is the greatest challenge and greatest blessing and thank god for both because without either I wouldn’t be the me that I want to be!

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