Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Lil' Hero Journal Project

Ever been waken from your sleep with an idea and couldn't go back to sleep because your mind just kept throwing ideas at you?  This happens to me fairly often, but this time around I decided to go ahead and get up and act on that idea.  I am calling it the My Lil' Hero Journal Project. 

So often as parents we here or say negative things about our children or others that we see in our lives.  We hear that ALL teenagers are terrible, disrespectful, moody, undisciplined, lazy, and I could go on.  Two years old, you know the saying "Terrible Twos".  Many times our acceptance of these ideas become our reality due to the fact that allow ourselves to accept these as truths and expect these actions from our children.  But, what happens when we refuse to accept and expect only the best?  What happens when we tell our children on a daily basis that the bring us joy and gladness?  What if we tell them that although others may say and do some of the things that may appear normal for their age, that we are not accepting or tolarating those behaviors and give them examples of what they do in their daily lives to prove those myths incorrect?  I'll share with you a bit of my own personal experience with this and how it relates to the My Lil' Hero Journal Project.

This is not to brag or boast about my abilities as a parent, but more to give thanks to my God, my family, my friends, and my church family for the support, guidance, wisdom, examples and mentorships during the last 16 years that I've raised my son as a single mom.  My Lil' Hero (he's not so little anymore) is my son Alex.  No, he is not perfect, who is, but I can say with tear filled eyes of joy (member of the crying club) that he amazes and inspires me each and everyday.  He is a young man that looks beyond himself, is not boastful, he is caring, loving, respectful, disciplined, hardworking, funny, not materialistic, and he is my protector.  These are just a few of the qualities that he possesses.  I love to watch him interact, teach or mentor the youth that he works with in the young marine program, in karate, or in a volunteer position.  He is so talented in staying patient, knowing when to be firm, when to have fun, and when he needs to have some one on one time to counsel one of the youth.  He does this with youth of all ages, through young marines they are ages 8 - 18 but, he has younger cousins that benefit from this same ability.  All I can say is that from the day he was born he changed my life for the better, I have enjoyed being his mom and even his friend.  I know, they say you can't be your child's friend you're their parent, but I think you can find that balance and teach them where to draw the line as well as know for yourself the limits. 

I could go on all day about my hero but, I want to talk about the journal and my vision.  I plan to start a journal dedicated to writing to Alex about something he did in a particular day that was an example of why he is my hero.  At the end of the week or other designated time, I will share it with him.  My goal is to start today and end December 31st.  I am going to also give a blank journal to my 2 sisters and mother and ask them to do the same for each of their children.  For my mom, I thought she might like to journal about her grandchildren and share it with them whenever she chooses. 

Why am I sharing this with you?  I would love to spread this project around the country.  I want to see how far this project can spread and here about your Lil' Heroes. If you are interested, please read below for more information on how to participate.

1. Send me an email letting me know you want to participate in the My Lil' Hero Journal Project.  I would like to keep a running count/list of where this project finds itself.

2. Share with me your stories as short or long as you like about a child you know under the age of 21 that you consider a hero.  Doesn't have to be your own child and you can change their names for their privacy.

3. Share the journal with your hero on a regular basis, daily or weekly.  Don't let too much time go, the point is to let them know that they bring you joy and gladness. Be honest and sincere when writing.  Try to catch something at least once a day that is an example or just journal your thoughts as they arise, don't feel that you have to make up anything, just keep it real.

4.  Allow me the opportunity, the honor of sharing your stories on my blog, and the potential of moving this project even further.  I'll discuss this in more detail as I work through it and see how this project is running.

5. Pass this post on to others in your family, community, to your friends and blog about it, mention it on facebook, twitter, etc.  Help me spread the word.  

My mind is filling up with ideas on how I can expand this and I share those at a later time.  I am really looking forward to hearing about all the wonderful things that our youth are doing to live as hero's in our world.  Too often they don't know that they are our heroes and it's time to let them know.  You may have a foster child in your home right now who has experienced things in their life that no human should endure, but has been able to overcome those oppositions, maybe you have a child who has a physical or mental disability or health problem but they haven't let it rule them, share these stories.

I have a little friend age 4, she's been adopted by the most wonderful family, and she inspires me every time I see her.  She was born without arms and has had many surgeries on her back, but that girl has an incredible spirit.  There isn't much of anything that she can't do or won't try doing.  I love to hear her mom tell how the daughter paints her mom's nails, using her toes and feet.  That is just one example of the many ways she shows she is not enabled but able to do what she puts her mind to doing.  There are several other youth that I could talk about that fill me with pride knowing them and joy watching them grow.  I am sure you can say the same thing.

So, if you would like to join my in this project, either leave a comment here and your email so that we can communicate more as this project grows or you can send me an email directly at designsbyjenai at

Found these at Michael's for $1.00


Beth Reichow said...

You're right...your lil hero is not so little! Alex's ability to interact with all ages and his patience is what grabbed my attention at the Young Marines birthday campout last year. And that is just one of his many talents. Becoming 3rd Division Young Marine of the Year validates everything we already know! Good luck with your journal project. I think it is a fabulous idea!

Designs by Jenai said...

Hi Ms. Reichow! So nice to see you here. :-D I can say the same about your big baby. He is a wonderful leader and I look forward to hearing about his future successes!