Heaven holds a sense of wonder….

{February 5, 2012}   Apples!

In our house, we have code words to remind us all to be mindful of our behavior towards one another. The kids, deciding that I have a hard time keeping my sentences short, designated mine, “Apples!” Whenever I hear this word, I am supposed to stop and think about what I really want to say, and find a more concise way to express myself.

It’s been good, really.

In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I find myself uttering the word to myself. 

Case in point: Last night, I sat down to blog about how I got here-  “here” referring to the approach I take to childhood, mothering, and teaching.  As it turned out, I realized an hour into typing I was actually writing an analysis of my imperfections.  To humble myself before you, dear readers, I set out to prove how intimidating I’m really not, and how human I really am.

An hour’s worth of typing.  Ok.  APPLES!

Here’s the short version:  I am no more perfect than anyone else out there. I could outline my myriad flaws, but I suspect they’ll make themselves evident on their own in time. Besides, it’s such a negative way to write, no matter how much of a humorous spin I put on it.  So just trust me, dear readers: I am no supermom.  I’m simply human.

My journey started when I was a kiddo myself.  For the sake of sanity, brevity, and joyful reading, I will wait until relevance renders those snippets necessary. That will shave about twenty years right there.

Honestly, to answer the question, “How did I get here,” it makes the most sense to know a little bit about my children. I could wax on about them a while, too, so they’ll each get their own blog posts soon.  To summarize, though, it became very apparent from the start that they were not little blobs of clay for me to mold.  No blank slates.  Nor could I control them.  There were too many outside factors, from health issues, to sensory concerns, to the plain and simple reality of life.  I had two choices: make it easy, or make it hard.  I chose to make it easy.

Now, don’t let me mislead you.  Getting down on the same level as a screaming, flailing child is not the easiest thing to do in that moment.  Especially not in a public place with all those eyes watching, judging. In the long run, however, everything becomes so much simpler.  The foundation for open and effective communication and trust is laid.  Power struggles dissolve.  Hard questions seem to answer themselves-  not that this makes them much easier.

People have said to me that I seem to speak the language of children, that I “get” them in ways that others don’t.   Maybe that’s true, but I don’t let it go to my head.  After all, I didn’t have a whole lot of choice.  Once I birthed my children, I realized there wasn’t room for my ego to coexist peacefully.  You know, that part of the psyche that shouts from atop the swingset, “Look at me, no, LOOK AT ME!”

To be perfectly clear-  I have not given up my sense of self.  My kids need to see me with an identity separate from their own.  I have given up the attachment to my ego, to making it about me.

Or sort of.  I am only human, after all.

But once I had children, what I wanted became less of a priority.  And even as it did, it morphed from self-centered to whole-centered.  I became more aware of the interconnectedness of all things, the inherent spirituality of life and the universe.  Mutual respect and love and peace and all manner of hippie thoughts preoccupied me now. 

It naturally followed that when my kids used whatever means they had available to communicate, I would listen, no matter how unacceptable their methods might seem.  I simply had to also teach them how to share their minds appropriately.

After all, we’re not born 30.  How could I expect them to already exhibit the skills that I’ve only just begun to master?

Oh, my.  Here I go, getting wordy again!



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