Monday, October 25, 2010

chins up!

"Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."--Confucius.

We made it through Monday and came out with our heads high.  I've been focusing on good things, loving the dickens out of my children, showing patience and kindness all around, ordering books about developing strong girls, and doing a lot of yoga breathing.

One of the pitfalls of my personality is that I am very, very quick to get from problem to worst-case-scenario in my mind.  I don't always give voice to these dangerous places that my mind goes to, but I just kind of fester in a state of worry.  Hoo boy. 

In 3 seconds flat, I can go from:  Sam isn't home when he's supposed to.
to:  I'm going to be so lonely and stressed out as a widow and single mom.

from:  That's a weird rash on Reed's back.
to:  "Boy, 3, dies of weird rash on back."

from:  Skyler had a bad week at school.
to:  I need to quit my job and homeschool, or
we need to move away, or 
I'm going to need anti-anxiety meds.

We had a great weekend.  I decided to stop interrogating Skyler about school and just love her.  We had a few conversations about kindness and being strong and walking away from people who use unkind words.  We practiced saying:  "I don't need that in my life" when someone is not being nice.  I might have given her a few hundred kisses and snuggles.  

Today Sam and I had a very positive meeting with her teacher and the school counselor and I walked out of there feeling 25 pounds lighter and very proud of us for advocating for our girl.    Everything that I wanted her teacher to say, she said.  And Skyler had a great day at school.  So, we are moving forward and assuming that this past week was a bump on the road.  We are focusing on kindness and not on injury.

I'm not suggesting that I over-reacted, because I am very glad that we made our concerns known to the school.  But I would like to teach myself to have concern and take action without getting myself into a state of heart-wrenching panic. 

I did learn quite a lot this past week, and also asked myself a lot of questions.  Some of these have been answered and some are left floating around in my head.  

What is the line between advocating and hovering?
How much should I push my children to give me all of the details about their day?
Should I even be writing on the blog about their experiences at school?
When do our children's stories not belong to us anymore?
How do I separate their experiences and my feelings about them?  

Why doesn't it sting quite as much when Reed says someone is mean on the playground?
How do you teach a six-year-old to avoid girls who need power?
Should I have written about something so painful while I was still right smack in the middle of it?

I removed the posts about Skyler's experiences only because it was stressing me out to have them there.  I can't totally explain it, but I wanted to be able to move on and every time I imagined logging on here, I knew that I would re-read those posts and I needed a break from my own thoughts. 

In conclusion:  Everyone needs more kindness.  I love my babies.  Parenting is hard.  Amen. 


Kim Oldenburgh said...

Emilie-you are a mom. You are human. We protect our kids. Don't feel bad about what you did. If you didn't react the way you did, you'd be wondering if you should have done something about it. You have to go with what feels right. As a teacher of young children, I would have appreciated your concern.
Your questions linger. It's what we talked about this summer in class about knowing when you can't blog about your kids anymore.

Joanne said...

Smart, loving, reflective, hopeful - you will always be in their lives all your time on Earth. With completely unique "Mom" love - that is always a good thing!

Paige said...

Em,you must have read my mind. I feel like I have been going through the same exact emotions and questions, but with a different catalyst. How interesting that we can be hundreds of miles apart, our children can be years apart in ages, different genders, and we are still struggling with some of the same issues. I have been thinking all day about removing my post from last night. I am going to go to bed and not do it tonight. My mother has always said things look differently in the morning. But if I still feel the same way in the morning, I will remove my post too. It will also be a salt in my wounds that I would make myself read time and again. Who needs that? I need to let go. Thanks.

Brooke said...

amen. good job mama!

Carver Fam said...

I think your part of your kids story is your story. Always. I understand you need to remove the posts but I in no way think your process of writing them, searching your heart and laying it bare to be witnessed was the wrong move.

I think we are at that pinnacle part of letting go of our babies as they step out into the world of school and it is so hard to know this line. As I told you, I am struggling with this line with Ella in a completely different expression, but it is the same line.

I am a worst caser too. It makes me creative, resourceful and stressed out. (Note my email to you that said we could tag team homeschooling.)

Isn't it funny how it takes a feeling of crisis to hunker down, heap on the love, the patience the tenderness, the appreciation? This is something that I want everyday and yet, only when my life spins out of orbit does it ground me down to what really matters. I'm getting better, more perspective, but some consistency would be nice...

(P.S. I'm super proud of you. xoxo)

Emily said...


Though relatively new to your blog, I am in awe of your commitment to self-aware parenting. You honor your children's differences and adjust your style accordingly. And you've created such a haven of love, support, and communication, that your home will always protect your children from the unkindness outside. Wow. Just wow.