the nest

the nest

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fresh Start

I love the New Year, but I don't usually like January.... It's often dark and cold, the holidays are over and it's "back to the grind."  For someone who struggles with seasonal depression, the cold, dark days can make it difficult to focus on the joy and love that is life.  Even though yesterday was Epiphany and the "light" is getting brighter and longer everyday, it is still dark in the morning and dark in the world.  I've made no resolutions this year, but have decided that one thing I'm going to try to do is be kinder to myself.  Fewer "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts," more breathing, reading, singing and exercising.  And more writing.
Since my last post, our life has been a little upside down and it's been difficult to focus on anything in particular other than getting through life.

One of the difficulties of blogging about the phase of parenting that I am in is that, unlike babies and toddlers, my children will see what I write.  It is important to me that while I need to write about the issues that are relevant to me, I also need to be respectful of their privacy.  To do that I must really focus on "my" side of the story.  What is my role in their growing pains?

Shortly before Christmas, my middle daughter hit a rough patch and it knocked the wind out of our sails for a bit.  She is back on track for the most part, but it was a scary time for my husband and I.  In the past I have blogged about "little children, little problems~ big children, big problems".  SO TRUE.

I have long been a fan of natural consequences and the idea that children learn best through experience.  In fact, some of the best learning happens during the most unpleasant experiences.  This is so easy to advocate and follow when natural consequences might mean a bump on the head, a skinned knee or even an after-school detention.  But what about when the consequences could be life long?  While we hope we have prepared our children to go out into the world and take care of themselves and others, we can't be sure until it actually happens.  What about when there are big consequences for little children through no fault of their own, like in Newtown?

Until then, we earn our gray hairs and wrinkles and return to the sleepless nights we had when they were babies, only now we can't snuggle up and nurse away their hurt and fear.  All we can do is listen, pray and be clear.  Once in a while a snuggle happens too.

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