A Family Heart

Kayli gets up early on Saturdays.

With hair and eyes still full of sleep, she unzips her backpack, letting books and papers and folders and gloves spill onto the hardwood floor.

First light streams through windows, revealing my girl and her world.

She runs glitter-tipped fingers through dark locks, “I have A LOT of homework,” she laughs.

And I, groan. (Not-so-secretly), homework is not my favorite, or my best.

She flips that dark hair over one shoulder. “We do this one all together,” she says, pulling a large construction paper heart from the pile.

She holds her heart up high, is hidden behind it.

“A Family Heart” is the assignment, and this, is homework that I can get behind.

I put on the coffee, Familiar Warmth fills our kitchen.

One by one we take our place around the table, shading this place in a second coat of Familiar Warmth.

We cut and crinkle and glitter and glue at Kayli’s direction.

The table and the floor and even our fingers fill with scraps and colors, signaling our hard work.

She hands us each a little piece of bright paper. “We can put what we love in here,” she leads.

Quietly, we work side by side, fitting our own sparks into teeny tiny spaces.

And that’s just how it goes sometimes, isn’t it? We find that what we love BIG, needs to be boxed in small.

Our Sparks: Chloe- art, Mom- writing, Brody- balloons, Kayli- rocks, Dad- Big Green Egg & Darth Vadar & iPhone, Louie- running.

She puzzle pieces these parts, fits them like a frame around our whole.

What we each love and hold close, where we find our bliss and what I call our Spark, has its own place within our family.

Flexing to fit, affecting the edges, but definitely there.

She glitters the open spaces, while we stand in unusual silence, watching.

We take in the full and the fit and the sparkle and the way that there seems to be just enough room for us all.

iPhone Photo Phun

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  1. Lovely, just lovely!

  2. This is homework I can do! So perfect!

  3. I love it! How gorgeous!

  4. Truly beautiful.

  5. Beautiful.
    Just last week i was going thro large art folders of these projects of the girls – trying to decide what to throw, what to keep and ended up just leaving them as they are for now.
    Intact, whole … together …. not ready for separation of any kind 😉

  6. My kind of homework assignment!

  7. How fun for something awful and dreaded to turn into a delightful family project!

  8. Beautiful!

    (I don’t love homework either, and I’m sure it gets worse as they grow…but THIS is homework even I can love, too.) :)

  9. I love this activity so much. And that you all did it together makes it that much more special!
    What a wonderful keepsake for her.
    I’ve said it before, and it’s because I believe it; you are a fantastic mom.

  10. Love, love, love, love, love this. But maybe we can talk about how you can let all of the crafty goodness spill onto the floor so calmly? #Ineedhelp 😉

  11. Such a sweet project. We’re working on a Peru project which involves just as much glitter and far more than one cup of coffee :)

    Sounds like a perfect Saturday morning.

    • Oh girl, it was a perfect slice out of an otherwise so-so day and oh my- way more than one cup of coffee was involved! :)

  12. It’s beautiful and meaningful and beautiful *because* it’s meaningful. Trifecta!

  13. This was simply beautfiul, Galit. Have I told you that I just love, LOVE your writing? Because I SO do! Best homework assignment EVER!

  14. I love that Louie got a spot on the family heart.

    • Hee! I love that, too! Kayli’s original idea was to glue on a toy that he’d chewed, because his *other* spark is “chewing up our stuff.” I die.

  15. Your family does fit together so perfectly. :)

  16. Love this project and the fact that your husband has an iPhone for his heart. Mine would have that too.

  17. Love this project. Mine would be writing and my hubs would definitely be the iphone.

  18. It’s true! What we love big needs to be boxed in small.

    I bet her heart was the prettiest one.

  19. I’m always happiest when there’s enough room for everyone.

    Yep indeed.

  20. Now this is my kind of homework!
    Beautiful piece, Galit…as usual :)

  21. Life As Wife says:

    Ah I can’t wait until our household is big enough for crafts!

    Probably the most heartfelt Saturday I’ve read about! (Pun intended!)

  22. I love helping with homework like that! And I love your little book, with pages any everything. And also glitter. I adore glitter.

  23. So lovely, Galit. I adore how your words capture the heart of your family. That is a great school project!

  24. Oh this is so fun! What a great project, and one that can actually bring you together instead of dreading it!!

  25. What a lovely representation of your family. Your perfect little family. So full of heart.

  26. Such a heart-warming post, Galit! What a heart that was! As always, you were able to convey the moment so clearly with your beautiful words. How can we put LOVE into such a small heart? Well, I think Kayli and you did just that here :) It might be a small heart, but the love that’s in there is HUGE.

  27. I love this kind of homework. Beautiful, Galit.

  28. Nice homework, just the kind I can manage!

  29. I struggle so much come homework time but when we’re DOING it and have it DONE, it really is the best.


  30. Usually someone leaves the table crying during homework at our house (me + algebra) so this is definitely a project I could get behind. How fun!

  31. Oh how I love this! What an adorable heart! (those are my favorite, favorite valentines!)

  32. so, so sweet!

  33. I love this. This is so you – your beautiful, loving family around the table bonding….just love. xoxo

  34. Best homework assignment ever, I love how creative she is!

  35. Now this is a homework assignment.
    Makes you stop and see what’s important in your life always…family.

  36. My favorite line: “We take in the full and the fit and the sparkle and the way that there seems to be just enough room for us all.” LOVE this!

  37. This is such a fun idea to celebrate the holiday as a family. My girlies will be all of this! I have to say though…if I had to pick a favorite it was that you all attached a balloon for Brody. I saw and knew what it was all at once and it made my face light up. That boy and his mad love for balloons!

  38. Glittering open spaces suddenly sounds like the best idea!

  39. Aw, now that turned out sweet!

    We have to make a paper plate pizza with 100 toppings on it for 100th day of school. Um, yuck. LOL

  40. That’s a fun assignment. My house will be such a mess when I have kids. I could glitter the crap out of stuff!

    I love learning more and more about your family and what makes each of you “you”.

    Loved the line about her glitter tipped fingers.

  41. —I would love to come and join you some Saturday for hot coffee, chatter & crafts.

    Loooovely. X

  42. This is the best kind of homework assignment. Great job, Breens!!!

  43. Such a sweet assignment. So much better than putting together a solar system diorama!

  44. All homework should be like this! We’d all be a little saner for it. A heartwarming project (:

  45. That’s a lovely project.

  46. Anti-Supermom says:

    I don’t think there could be a more perfect morning.

  47. It looks perfect – what beautiful art! (And words, of course.)

  48. That touched me so deeply in my heart. Your words just move beyond the bad stuff, the “homework” and show me the heart of things…the love of family, the spaces in between that make it all worth it. Xo

  49. That turned out great! I don’t think that we’ve ever had a homework project so fun!

  50. Beautiful!

  51. Oh goodness, do I super puffy heart this!! We need to do one of these just to have it and put it on our fridge. LOVE it, Galit. Tell her awesome job! :-)

  52. What homework! I bet she will remember that time around the table for a long time to come Galit.

  53. HOmework is not MY favorite or best either.
    In fact, I downright hate it.
    And yet I have to remember to keep that positive face because I don’t want her to hate it!

    But this project for a Saturday morning? Wonderful!

  54. What a fun family project… and it looks great :)