Bonnes Choses (aka Good Stuff)

I was getting ready in my hotel room on New Year’s Day when Jack said, “Oh, Sarah. Did you see what Lauren wrote on her Facebook page?” And then he read it to me.

Everyday, for 365 days, I wrote down “Bonnes Choses” (good stuff) that happened to me or something I was thankful for. Looking back at them, it is truly incredible to see how I grew as a person in faith and especially happiness throughout 2014. Thank you to everyone who made 2014 become the greatest year of my life yet. And here’s to 2015, may it be even greater and FULL of bonnes choses!


I was astonished because I knew nothing about this! I actually felt bad about my parenting. Why didn’t she tell me about it? Should I have asked what the jar full of paper on her dresser was all about over the past year? I had noticed it but didn’t ask. Maybe good Moms open drawers and read texts to make sure their kids aren’t doing bad things? I’ve never done that. Aren’t good Moms supposed to communicate with their kids and know the ins and outs of their daily lives? Had I become so busy that I had lost touch with my daughter?

The guilt went away fairly quickly as I realized just what had happened. My little blond girl who resembled Cindy Lou Hoo on our Christmas card fifteen years ago was becoming a mentally healthy young woman. She had set an intention for an entire year, even when she was having a bad day, to find a nugget of a blessing.

It made me think about parenting. We spend our whole lives talking to and at our kids. Do they listen? Not always so we talk some more. Our talking starts with trying to get them to talk by cooing, babbling and then we move to telling them not to talk in quiet church sanctuaries or movie theaters. We talk to them about toilet training, brushing their teeth, sleeping, eating healthy foods, cleaning up their toys, not hitting their siblings, respect, responsibility, faith, grades, friendships, exercise, relationships, money, alcohol, drugs, sex, death, driving, taxes, too much social time, not enough social time, filling out their college applications, deciding on colleges, deciding on what to study, job markets, medical school…etc. I have talked to these two kids of mine nonstop for twenty years. I suppose that is why Lauren’s “Bonnes Choses” jar makes me proud. I didn’t say a word.

My Mom and I were talking about it yesterday. She asked me what Lauren had written down the day she didn’t get the coveted spot in the high school musical as she knew how devastated she had been. “You know, Mom, I haven’t really asked to read them as curious as I am. If she wants me to read them, perhaps she will bring it up but I respect her privacy.” I remember what I liked about that day. I got a chance to once again comfort my little Cindy Lou Hoo, hold her, wipe away tears, bestow some wisdom about perseverance and dedication, and reassure her that this was a small fraction of her life as bigger things in her life were on the horizon. We did some early Christmas shopping, I bought her some new penguin flannel pjs, and we went out to eat.

At dinner last night I told Lauren that Grandma was proud of her for committing a year to finding something positive about each day. “Lauren,You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but what did you write down on the day you didn’t get the part in the musical?”

“I wrote down that I got to spend time with you.”

Sigh. Thanks Lauren for letting me be your bonnes choses.

Sarah Lopacinski is a Mom to Aaron and Lauren, twenty-five year teaching veteran, yoga teacher and founder of

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