Thursday, December 20


Funny, since starting my journey to respectful parenting, I'm far less horified to hear my mother's voice coming from my mouth (rarely even hear it anymore) than to hear MY voice coming from my *children's* mouths. Those moments that stop me short as I incredulously ask myself, "Did I SAY that?" or "Do I sound that awful??". Apparently, I'm not noticing the early signs before I hear those things coming from my kids, but it is definitely a 4-alarm warning when I do.

Then, too, its nice to see those positive reflections-afirmations that we *are* on the right path and we are definitely making progress. Today, as I rushed upstairs to get to Storm's side as he awoke crying for me, I hurried too fast and slipped on the stairs, banging my shin pretty good. I made it up to the bedroom and as I leaned on the bed dealing with the pain, Wyl asked me what was wrong and since I explained to him what happened in a strained voice, I guess Storm didn't hear me, because he asked me several times after I told Wyl. I finally got the point across to him that "I hurt my leg" and he *jumped* out of the crib and dashed out the door before I realized he was out of the crib. I asked him where he was going-he was by now out of the bedroom, and he came back to open the door and tell me, "I going to get a bandaid". I heard him dig around in the drawer, shut the drawer, shut the bathroom door and after he shut the bedroom door, he stood there by my side, his little 3-year-old fingers struggling patiently with the tricky, tiny pull-apart wrapper, carefully handing me each side of the paper wrapper, struggling mightily with the coverings of the sticky part-trying ever so hard not to touch the pad that covers the wound (did he learn that just from watching me??) and handing me those parts to throw away... and handing me the bandage to put on myself. I was struggling to hold back tears at this gently, thoughtful gesture. Bandaids make his boo-boos feel better - he had just told me that the night before as he put one on a scratch himself. Here, I had not been expecting my respectfulness to be repaid (at least in care-taking ways) until I was nursing-home age or otherwise incapacitated, unable to care for myself... and yet, here it was; proof (however small) that respect isn't just something you give out to your kids, it comes back to you full force in unexpected ways.

I love these little moments.

Tuesday, December 11


Another one of those moments...

I was reading an interview of Eva Longoria and read a bit about her mother being non-judgemental and always wanting whatever made her kids happy. I know this. I've wanted this as a parent, too. I *thought* I was "there" until I read this paragraph, set the paper down and nodded my head saying, "Uh huh." and then something clicked.

All those times I kept getting frustrated when one of the boys was doing something that I didn't "get". Something I saw as more mess to clean or whatever and I asked why. Why was he doing that thing?? And my frustration just increased when I heard, "I don't know", "Just 'cause" or "Because I like to". I guess I need one of those Star Trek every-language-interpreters, because what it was translating to me was something along the lines of "I don't have a clue but I'm going to keep doing it anyway, even if it does bug you". But for some reason, that one small bit of an interview in that magazine helped me translate those comments! Suddenly, it was clear!! They were saying, "It makes me HAPPY"!!! I was stopped in my tracks momentarily as this realization struck me. A figurative slap to my forehead and a resounding, "DUH!!" thundered through my head. Obviously, I wasn't "there" - I wasn't living my life without judgement, I wasn't 100% at "whatever makes them *happy*".

Does RU make you appreciate your kids more? Does RU make you appreciate being a parent more? All I know is that if I had stayed on the traditional parenting path that has so much less challenges than RU/respectful parenting, there's a lot I would take for granted and much less I would find to appreciate about our lives, about our family.

I used to think I was NOT one of those people who said, "We unschool except for... (math, science, etc.)". But what I've recently come to realize is that I'm a person who unconsciously says, "We unschool except for tooth brushing/a few rules/occasional no's." But I'm working on that. :~)