200 Days of Loving MOMENTS.

200 days of not yelling, 165 days of loving more to go!
(So this was written days ago but my computer wasn’t feeling the love until now….)

Dear Orange Rhinos,

200 days.

2.0.0. days. Wow. That’s a lot of days not yelling. A lot of moments not yelling. I should have started off the day ecstatic, jumping for joy. But to be honest, I started the day pretty bleh about the potential achievement.

Until I saw this.

“(name) Mom Love.” An Orange Rhino. For me. Just for me. I might not make it to 365 days but I will ALWAYS know that my almost 6 year old son believed in me. And that we shared this moment. And that makes this Challenge worth it.

And this.

My 4 years old’s own Orange Rhino sign (he traced the one I made for him to hold up when I got cranky). See below.
















And finally, this.

My Orange breakfast to “make you smile mommy.” Carrots, gold fish and Vitamin Water I keep in case I want to yell.

Really? My boys did this all on their own without daddy’s help? I was flabbergasted. For everything I feel I am doing wrong as a mom, for one MOMENT, three really, I realized, holy sh*t, I am actually doing something right. In taking on this challenge, I am teaching my kids to support someone going after a goal, a dream. I am teaching my kids to be MORE LOVING.

Oh wait, there is more.

This conversation summed the morning up:

“Mommy, what’s wrong?”

“Well #1 I called the local radio statio today to tell them about 200 days and The Orange Rhino Challenge Day. You see, someone did that on Day 100 and it made me really happy so I thought today I would try to do the same.”

“Did you get on the radio?”

“Kind of. I talked to the DJ but didn’t get on the radio.”

“Oh, you didn’t win the contest?” (He thinks everyone who calls the radio is trying to win a contest.)

“No, I didn’t win.”

SILENCE. I can see the gears turning.

“But mommy, didn’t you already WIN because of The Orange Rhino gifts we gave you. Right?”

Oh. My. God. YES! Yes, yes, yes my sweet son! Why did it take my 6 year old to put things in perspective for me? Why did it take him to teach me to be grateful for what I do have instead of being sad for what I didn’t get? Because kids are pretty darn amazing, that’s why.

My son is totally right.

I already have won.

Because we had THAT Moment.  A moment that will be a memory of mine forever. That I will cherish forever. That I will tell my grandchildren some day when I am talking to them about their daddy.

And that moment happened all because I didn’t yell “GOSH DARNIT YOU KNOW YOU DON’T GO DOWNSTAIRS WITHOUT ME!!!” when I heard #1, #2, and #3 running downstairs early this morning before they had a chance to tell me “we’re doing something special for you.”

All because I didn’t yell “OH MY GOSH STOP!” when I heard things falling out of the fridge while I was changing a diaper because I knew in their heart of hearts they were just trying to do something nice.

All because I didn’t yell “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING? CLEAN UP THAT MESS!” when I saw the entire cupboard of plates being emptied in search of just the orange plates because I knew it would crush their hearts.

All because I didn’t yell I received those beautiful gifts from my boys, I received that moment, that precious memory.

And that is what The Orange Rhino Challenge is about. It’s about LOVING MORE so I can have MORE LOVING MOMENTS.  Sure, when I look back at the end of my 365 days I am going to be proud that I went 365 days without yelling but what I am going to remember and truly cherish are moments like today. Moments where I let my relationships with my sons became that much more special because I didn’t yell.  

So if you are taking the challenge and feeling defeated because you can’t go a day or longer or meet a goal you have set for yourself, think about at least ONE loving moment you have had because you didn’t yell. Cherish that one moment, that memory that you will have forever. I KNOW you all have at least one moment where you Loved More and Yelled Less. Be grateful for that moment because no one can take it away. And be excited for the future when you will have MORE of those Loving Moments because they will come.  They will come. They will come.

I have had a lot more Loving Moments these last 200 days and for that I am grateful. In fact, because my life has been filled with more love and less anger, I am finding myself not only a happier person but also one who wants to give more to others .

So in honor of The 2nd Orange Rhino Challenge Day, despite my pledge to donate only if 200 people participated, I am STILL going to donate $200.00 to Habitat for Humanity. I want to create a happy moment for someone else, just as my son did for me this morning and just as you all do for me whenever you read something I write and indirectly support me in my promise to my kids. This Challenge has given me so much – you all have given me so much – it is only right to give back somehow.

Thanks for reading,
The Orange Rhino

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