Monday, March 21, 2016

Before I Leave

A while ago I wrote 'When Grammy Goes Away,' a children's book explaining loss of a loved one in terms youngsters could internalize and understand. It's dedicated to Brady, the first of my grandchildren, who is now a teenager. When it was published, he wanted to know why his book dealt with death. I told him since he was the eldest of the seven, he would be the one who could best comprehend my message. Brady has since come to terms with my decision, but doesn't like to think about the day when his grammy won't be in his world. I don't like the idea either.

My youngest grandson, Gabe, who will be three next month, is now obsessed with this book. He insists his mom read it every night, and knows if she tries to shorten it by skipping pages. The best part for Gabe is to get to the end and see my face smiling back at him.

With each passing year, I get closer to the end of my journey. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have no immediate plans to leave this world. As a matter of fact, I've set the number of my existence at 102! If I make it, I still have 30 more wonderful years to go.

www.amazon.com/flobarnett

Oftentimes my family asks what I want for Mother's Day, my birthday, or Christmas. I usually pick something both my hubby and I could enjoy together like a favorite restaurant gift card, or a replacement for an item that has bit the dust during the passed year. Lately though, I've been thinking what gift would make me the happiest I've ever been. And believe it or not, I actually have come up with an answer.

Before I leave I want to experience peace and harmony in the world with my children and their families. To me that means there would be no more war, no more hatred between races, no more senseless killings over petty issues, no more lying to achieve selfish goals, no more bullying others for the sake of self-indulgence, no more negativity in the media to up ratings, not more ugly words exchanged between neighbors, no more familial estrangements, not for one more day, not for one more minute.

And I've found the simply answer to making my dream a reality. Start with the young! Teach your children from the get-go that difference is beautiful, that diversity is to be embraced, not feared, and that living together in peace and harmony will bless them in every way, making their lives heaven on earth. Youngsters are like sponges, they sop up every word you say, every feeling you convey, every message you send.

My newest book, 'Preschool Friends A-Z Around the World' is a little contribution to helping you and your children explore diversity in a fun and factual way. In this story,  you and yours will meet 26 children who come from all parts of the world with strange names and different physical appearance. But what's the same is that they all attend preschool, do the same things like playing dress-up, building with blocks, swinging on the playground, and using their imaginations to make glorious creations. These activities bind children together no matter what creed, color, or culture they've been born into. When you expose children at an early age to difference you become the conduit through which their understanding is solidified. You give them the unique opportunity to be facilitators of peace and harmony in their preschools, their homes, their communities, their workplaces, and most importantly, their world.

You don't know me,but if you start teaching your children now to embrace diversity, you'll be gifting me with what I want most in life before I leave,the chance to witness everybody living together in peace and harmony throughout the world.

Hey, I believe you'll do it, after all, you still have 30 years before I plan to kick the bucket!

Coming this April to Amazon