sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Archive for November, 2012

I HAVE JUST SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN MY LIFE!

I HAVE JUST SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN MY LIFE!

I-  Italian-  I am grateful for my mother helping my daughter and her cousin learn Italian with weekly Skype chats

H-  Harrison- for my first born child, for his persistence, patience and perseverance

A- Abby- for my daughter, her gentle, loving spirit and all she teaches me

V- Vacations- for our time share and trips to the beach and family time on Lake Murray and weddings in St. Louis

E- ellen- the ellen show brings humor and laughter into my living room and my home

J- Jason- for his  jumping joyful spirit and for reminding me of how much fun there is to have in all of life

U- Uncles- for my uncles,  and how they have impacted my life and others

S- Sister-for Michele and her generous energetic self who brings so much into the lives of my children and many

T- Teachers- those special teachers who encouraged, inspired and respected me

S- Sunshine- living where the sun shines bright  and getting outside  to recharge my body and soul

O- Octagons- this shape has a special place in my heart- it forever embodies my first born’s early years

M- Music-Billy Joel, Billy Jonas, Queen, David Wilcox, electronic pianos, maracas,  pots and pans… and more!

U- Unschooling- discovering this way of life for my family and all those who have influenced me

C- Children- all the children in my life:past, present and future; they remind me what is really important

H- Hubby, Don- my best friend, love of my life,  who  brings out the best in me

T- Today- I can recreate myself each day in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever held about myself

O- Oliphint, Jenny- an amazing person, dance teacher and great inspiration in my daughter’s life

B- Brother- for Darrin and his quiet, calm, adventurous way of living and willingness to travel to SC twice each year

E-  Employment-all the places I have worked, job flexibility and the wonderful people at my current job and all the people who have been in my life from all the places I have worked

T- Thanksmas-our wonderful self-created tradition, celebrating many things all in one long weekend

H-Health-healthy people, healthy way of living and beating hearts!

A- Aunts- Again, many and all with unique gifts and blessings which have enriched the lives of many

N- Nettles- nourishing me and my family into healing and good health

K- Keifer- water keifer grains, for all their goodness and for those who brought them into my life

F- Food- many wonderful tastes, textures and especially those delectable items that nourish my body

U- Up-looking up;  can only go up from here;  up and coming; up, up, and away!

L- Life-for each and every day of life and for giving birth to three amazing children, each birth a unique experience

F- Felines, especially Lassie and Thumper who have a special place in my heart; and Peanut, the book club bonus

O- Olive, the wonderful dog who came into our lives and our home

R- Radish- the one thing that grew well in my garden this year

I- iPhone-music, Facebook, email, pictures, camera, video, GPS, calendar, games and phone all in the palm of my hand

N- Nieces and Nephews- now there is a varied crew from age 9 to age 42!

M- My Parents- for bringing me into the world and all they have done for me in my life

Y- Yesterday- all the memories of my life and the stories from those who came before me

L- LOVE- Love is all there is, and there is nothing else

I- Imagination- boxes, paper, crayons, scissors and glue; Imaginon, a wonderful place;   and the song “Imagine”

F- Family- being blessed with grandparents and great grandparents for so many years of my life

E- Everything else, all of life’s experiences that  educate and enrich my life

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Making the Difference in the Life of a Child

I have been part of an on-line journaling community and here is this week’s writing prompt:

“There’s a wonderful quote that says when we die, it doesn’t matter how many things we have in our possession; what matters most is the differences we made in the life of a child.  There is so much wisdom and power in this statement.  Imagine if we lived our lives with only this intention?  To make a positive difference in the life of a child.  All of our fears, inadequacies, and self-doubt would disappear.”

And then….

“This week, write about the most important things you would teach a child.  Even if you’re already a parent or grandparent or great grandparent – start from a blank slate.  What are the most important lessons you would teach him or her?  Why are they important?  Do these lessons move us towards peace, love and joy?  Speak from your heart.”

  • I see a big difference in these two paragraphs:
  • “To make a difference in the life of a child”
  • “start from a blank slate– What are the most important lessons you would teach (a child)”

Children are not blank slates. Even if that was not what was intended by this statement, I think it implies that we must teach children everything.  I disagree with this idea.  Yes, we do “teach” children. We teach them all the time in our actions.  They learn from watching us.  Just like they learn to crawl and to walk and talk, they learn how to act and respond based on what they observe.  We need to be the change that we want to see in our children.  Not in a “hey look at me, I am doing it this way and so should you” form of  modeling but in our everyday words and actions.

I see this all the time just by watching my children.  With three children, I see how the youngest, who is 3 years old, copies the actions of his older brother and sister as well as how the older children copy each other as well as me and my husband.

When I think about “making a difference” in the life of a child, I think of stopping and listening to a child. I think about loving a child, meeting his needsjoining her in her world, spending time with him, connecting with her, being there for him.

My mind goes to the birth of my children and all my choices prior to their birth,  during and after.  I recall how I began to really think about what I was putting into my body and how my diet evolved and changed over time -which has been good for my health too!  My birthing choices, the classes I took and how much I learned after my first was born and the changes I made for my second child’s birth as well the changes I made for  my third child”s birth.  My decision to breastfeed my baby and attending La Leche League meetings and learning more and more about nursing my child and mothering.  Learning about attachment parenting and child-led weaning.  For me, these are very powerful ways I have made a difference for my children’s lives.

Here I am, almost 15 years after I gave birth to my first child remembering those early days.  How can I continue to make a difference?

I read books, educate myself and reach out to like-minded communities to connectshare information, resources and support. It doesn’t matter how long we have been a parent, it is a continual learning process.  I can improve my communication skills and modify my “parenting method” as I grow and evolve as a mother.  Our children are all unique and have their own strengths, weaknesses, gifts and talents.  I see my role as nurturing, supporting, empowering, and maybe at times guiding them.

But even as a homeschooling parent, I do not feel I am here  to “teach them”.   I believe that my children have far more to teach me than I could possibly teach them.