Friday, August 30, 2013
I'd love to write something inspiring and eloquent about it - but I am busy on a lot of other things at the mo, and also don't want to overshadow his voice - I shall share his insight with you in his words.
The first instance we were driving down the road and the teenage lads were hanging out in the middle of the road. I rolled my eyes and muttered under my breath about what a stupid place it was to hang out and he says: "They just haven't found their path yet". Boom!
Another day we were talking about his feelings about going back to school. He's grown his hair, and we told him he needed some way to keep it off his face for games and reading etc. He decided on a bandanna, but was concerned the other kids would laugh. We talked a little about what he could say to them if they did. And I told him that if he was going to choose to be a bit different in life, he was going to come across this feeling many times hence forth. And he says: "But we're all different. It's important that we're different. If we were all the same there wouldn't be enough things for us all to do." I paraphrase - he was much more eloquent.
And three, I was talking about how I'd met a nice mum at the school gates, and how often I felt quite uncomfortable talking to the other mums cos they were looking at me, making judgements about my differentness and he said, I kid you not: "But you should ask them: "Do you know who I am?" And who am I? I asked, thinking he was going to say "Stephen Pearce's daughter". But no, you know what my boy said? "Lucy H Pearce, the writer." (With a special emphasis on the H). Oh yes. I am Lucy H Pearce the writer, so don't give me no shit school mamas!
And finally, you may remember me last week asking for your recommendations for books for my boy's spiritual education at school, whilst his classmates were preparing for their holy communion. I sent him in with something Ok-ish and said I was on the case, just hadn't found anything great yet. And you know what my wise, clever, inspired boy said. Something that had never occurred to me. Just so matter of fact: "But you can write me a book, mum". Just like that.
So I am!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
School is back tomorrow. And our littlest starts pre-school.
Five mornings a week. Three hours a day. Can you believe it? I can't!
I genuinely never thought this day would come. I see the mornings opening up for me. I will get to work every day. Every day, people!!!! I cannot tell you how thrilled my creative self is. (Though I'm being realistic and not counting on this actually happening for the first month as she settles in!)
And then the mama bit of me feels it's the beginning of the end. How can my baby be big enough to head off? I keep holding her tight - that sparky, funny, cute, clever little monkey child. She's off on her little way into LIFE without me!
My mind keeps jumping ahead to next year, when we'll be sending all THREE of them off to big school. I can hardly breathe at the thought... but part of that is the expense - nothing... nothing prepared me for how expensive it is to send children to a supposedly "free" school in Ireland - we're looking at about a grand next year - and that includes one child in handmedowns! Scary!
So having spent nine weeks getting used to having them round all day, every day, we'll be back to packed lunches and early mornings and uniforms, and remembering which day to send them in with their sports kits, and hassling over homework.
And quiet days and a tidy house. Time to think, and be still and not race and rush... until I'm late for picking them up... again.
So there we have it, less mama-ing and more creating - eeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkk!
More time to be doing stuff like this...
This is part of the Irish Parenting Bloggers Back to School blog march. If you’re interested in how much it costs to go back to school in Ireland you can read this excellent infographic from Barnardos which is based on a survey they carried out earlier this Summer. You can also read from the selection of Irish Parenting Bloggers over the next couple of days:
Sunday, 25th August: The Clothesline – It All Adds Up
Monday, 26th August: The Mama’s Hip – Homeschooling haul and chatter
Monday, 26th August: Awfully Chipper – Back to school in America
Tuesday, 27th August: Learner Mama – Back to school – A costly business
Tuesday, 27th August: Office Mum – School Costs & The Double Income Contradicton
Tuesday, 27th August: Musings And Chatterings – Crests and costs – starting big school part 1
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Holy Communion Year.
Its the reason we helped start up a non-denominational school. (Which in the end we didn't send hem to. Long story.)
So our boy will be the only child in the class NOT doing his First Communion. Preparation for which totally takes over as the year progresses. For church visits I will take him out of school. But for other times I want him to have some books that will:
1) Engage him ( he is 8 and a confident reader and very smart cookie, but does not enjoy reading too much, he is someone who loves more pictorial and information based texts). So some need to have activities that he can do by himself.
2) will nurture him spiritually
3) Will open his eyes to the world.
4) Are not Christian - he gets plenty of this at school.
So things I am thinking of include: earth based spiritual traditions, Steiner, Quaker, Buddhism, meditation for kids, world religions, sacred art including mandalas, mindfulness...
I really need your suggestions and quick, of books that I can get easily on line, I need to order them next week as school starts in two weeks! How have you shared spirit, love for the earth and mindfulness with your children through books?
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings — their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
***I always look forward to the school summer holidays. Long lazy days. The kids hanging out and doing what kids should do...
And then one day into the holidays, I remember... What kids do is bicker!
A lot. And tease and fight. And bicker some more. And moan that they're bored. And all three demand at once that you have to do THIS for them NOW. And treat you as a short order chef from morning to night. And are around all day creating mess and chaos and dumping their clothes/ toys/ mud pies/ Lego models over every possible surface.
And then I look ahead, nine long weeks in the future and think how the FUCK are we all going to SURVIVE this, let alone enjoy it?
I always swore I wouldn't have kids that bickered. I'm not good at conflict, being the child of divorce, it sets all my anxieties into over drive and stress level through the roof.
And I start to threaten child minders, as I realise what a good idea my working full time would suddenly be.
And we spend every moment we can out of the house to assuage the bickering... and instead transport the bickering in the confines of a car with us...
I realise why home schooling would have been like the WORST idea ever. I would have been home in THIS all day, every day.
This is most definitely NOT fun!
And then... at some magical point, precisely two weeks into the holidays... a transformation occurs. Unbidden. One morning the children wake up, and get up and start playing. TOGETHER!
And they barely stop all day.
They dress up and play games together, and head out on their bikes, and make mud pies without murders being involved.
In short they realise that they like each other. That they can have more fun together, than killing each other. (Well they still bicker quite a bit, but it is not their MAIN activity!)
Every year the same.
And every year I kind of forget. And I don't trust that this shift will happen. Cos all I can see and feel is the endless bickering now. And it sets off my I-System which turns on anger and anxiety...(more of which next week - it's fascinating stuff!)
And I breathe a sigh of relief, and give myself... and them a break - we are no longer the most miserable and failed family in the world.
And then I recall that a number of home schooling families report this transition time too when transitioning from a school-based, to a home-based life. As they adjust to being in multi-age groupings, having less structure to their days, to not being in constant competition and learning to be self-starters rather than organised by others. The sense of freedom is scary at first. There is a lot of energy and negativity that they have to get out of their systems before they find their own rhythm, pattern and modes of interaction again.
So suddenly last week, they started playing. Almost every day they head downstairs in mid dress up game - this week alone we've had pirates...
And superheroes ( Love that Ash is Timmy's mini me - she completely refuses to wear anything girly ever - which I just love. Whereas Meli is a no trousers girl! Dresses all the way for her, the prettier the better. This girl KNOWS about accessorising!)
Japanese tea parties - replete with fairy sandwiches, and the cherry blossom song and lots of mad bowing.
Dolls hair dressers and cuddly toy beauty salon.
Lots of Lego with ALL THREE involved.
And my favourite - Mary, Jospeh and the flipping donkey! This is particularly hilarious when you know that we are ... ummm how shall I say it.... the only heathens in the village! Baby Jesus seemed to have severe diarrhea in the game, but no worms thankfully (long time readers will understand this!) and he was expertly breastfed and sling-carried. Joseph was insistent that he was wearing a helmet. And the donkey had a properly floppy mane!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
- Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
- Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
- Baby Brother born from an Ocean — Abby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister's new baby.
- Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it's definitely worth it.
- Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
- It's Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life's twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
- Support — sustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband's have affected their family and at a time of need.
- Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
- Lessening the competitive enviornment in the home — Lisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
- The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that's maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
- 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
- 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
- Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins' sibling bond.
- Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
- Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
- Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children's relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
- Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
- For My One and Only Daughter — Playing for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
- Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
- The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
- Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen's children didn't start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
- Don't Seek What Isn't There - On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
- Sibling Love / Sibling Hate? — Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
They have been playing on my mind a lot, as this cycle of the year comes full turn once more. As the season turns, my awareness returns, of where we were at this time last year, or many years back, how far our paths have taken us, though we seem, on the outside to be just the same. How a trip round the sun can mark transformation. And yet, this being a spiral path, anniversaries bring us back, remembering who we were, what we lost, and gained, what we are grateful for and how we choose to continue on.
I don't feel like going into details. But just want to note the anniversaries here, mindfully, in love and gratitude. And then if you feel called you can click back and read the posts connected to those times, as I have over the past few days.
That was quite a rollercoaster week last year, one of the most challenging of my life. It started with our wedding anniversary, which was the only unchallenging bit.
Then hopped and skipped on through setting up for my first professional painting exhibition and all my attendant anxieties, whilst Mr DA had flu.
Followed the next morning by an emergency call from the Universe to rescue a soul sister and her children from a serious situation.
Followed by our boy's birthday party - never much good at them, we have another today - Happy Birthday Timmy!...
Which marks another anniversary - 8 years as parents! Thinking back a decade to pre-kids and marriage is mind-boggling - what a flipping decade we've had, we've ridden this wild donkey hard!
And then, two days later, the biggest anniversary, of them all. The day of almost. Yes, it is one year since Aisling's fall. A year. It is as though I can feel the tension rising, as though it were more possible to happen again, near the anniversary. Each phone call at work holds a little more menace than at other times of year. I cannot tell you how closely I hold her, or how many times the angels, on whose wings she fell, have been thanked. Never as long as she, and we live and breathe will we forget that miracle.
What anniversaries are you marking at the mo? Happy? Sad? How do you mark them?