Comfort

 In times of uncertainty and sadness, I find great comfort in this poem,

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
May the coming days bring peace and comfort to you and those you love.
For those seeking advice on how to navigate times of uncertainty, sadness and fear with your own children, I found this article by Bonnie Harris of Connective Parenting incredibly helpful.
With Blessings,
Kasey
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Innocence

We took the kids out for dinner.  Mexican.

Prompted by images on the tv in the bar, they started asking questions about September 11th.

Maybe because they’re 13 and almost 11, or maybe because I’d had a margarita, or maybe because I can’t believe it’s been ten years, 10 years, but this year, for the first time, I started talking and answering honestly.  And it was good.  And hard.  And intense.  And real.

And I’m pretty sure the greatest challenge in parenting is trying to offer answers and advice, when you’re still looking for them yourself.

But I guess that’s what parenting is all about.

This quote from Michael Levine sort of says it all.

“Having children makes one no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.”  

What do you think?  How do you talk to kids about the hard stuff?

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Trust

I gave my 10 year-old-daughter permission to ride her bike to the library.  Alone.

She’s old enough and it’s only a quarter of a mile away.  Right?

She’s been gone eight minutes.  I’m sure she’s fine, but what if the tote bag I gave her is too long?  What if it gets caught in the bike spokes?  It won’t.  But it could.  And she could go right over the handlebars.  Oh my. What if right this moment she’s sprawled on the sidewalk bleeding and terrified, hoping someone will come along to help her?

She’s not.  But she could be.

14 minutes!

Actually… I just remembered I need a book from the library.  Should I?

Or do I just sit and wait and trust and know that she’s protected?

Do I recognize that this is just a little step in all the big steps she’ll eventually take toward independence?

I know this swirling, flip-floppy feeling in my gut.  It’s the same feeling I get every year when Andie goes back to school.  All those post-NICU fears come flooding back, reminding me that I can’t always be there to protect her.  (I’ve never experienced quite the same level of anxiety over Tucker who was born on his due date at a hearty 8 pounds.  Yet sometimes my mind decides my vigilance is misplaced and begins fretting over him as well.) Usually the first day is the worst.  I imagine her falling from the slide or a sick kid sneezing on her. I want to send her to school wrapped in bubble wrap with a dust mask covering her mouth and nose.

But I don’t.

Instead I breathe.

And I trust.

And I try to focus on something to keep my busy, worrying mind, calm and at ease.  Writing often works.  So does a walk in the woods, or stretching, or a good book, or classical music or a new recipe.  Sometimes just saying I’m scared out loud helps, or repeating a prayer or mantra…Please bless and keep my children safe and protected…

And sometimes nothing works at all.  She’s been gone twenty-two minutes and you’re sitting here writing!  My edgy mind just screamed at me.

I’m going to the library.

But, wait.  Who is this rounding the corner?  It’s my little bird returning to the nest!  Look at her pedaling along with a sack full of books and that proud smile!

I knew she was fine.

She always is.

I, on the other hand, have some work to do!

What about you?  How do you manage your child’s return to school?

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