Thursday, December 16, 2010
I gave up television after I had Noelle. I just didn't have time for it anymore. And as I started reading all the literature about natural parenting I saw a common thread running through the tapestry of these families lives: little or no television. And so I decided my children would not watch it either.
That is, until my daughter has begun to develop a will and mind of her own.
And she loves television. Dora, Diego, Blues Clues, Pingu, Care Bears, WonderPets...
She loves them all. At first I was taken aback by it all. How did this happen? I have filled her life with so many wholesome things...why would she want TV? What did I do wrong? What is this going to do to her precious little spirit?
And then I remembered a promise I made to myself and my children...
I promised I would trust where my little girl's soul led her. I would have faith that Nature, Life, God made her whole and perfect and what brings her Joy must be Good. I promised I would trust this above all else.
And so I sat down one day to watch with her. I watched the pure joy and happiness that emanated from her as she watched Dora explore on all her adventures, Diego swing through the jungle rescuing animals, the WonderPets sing about Teamwork as they worked together to save the day. I felt the welling in my own heart as I sang along with these curious, adorable little creatures and remembered what it felt like when I was a child to have heroes I watched each day use their talents to bring peace and happiness to others.
I have witnessed the hours of imaginative play inspired by these characters. I have watched her name all her favorite dolls after Dora and Diego because they are her friends.
I have watched her learn things I could never have taught her because I didn't know. She said to me the other day
"Mom, mom I'm a porcupine and I shake my quills to scare off all the pumas!" And the fascinating thing is she actually knows what a puma is.
And then there was the moment when something she learned was showed to her in a different context(a different show:)) and the light that shone when she realized she had made the connection:
"Look! A circle of stars...it's the....Milky Way!!!...mmm, so creamy!"
After experiencing this journey with her -- asking questions, answering riddles, laughing, and singing, I realize how energizing TV can be, how many new experiences it brings to an adventurous spirit.
But mostly I have realized how meaningful it can be to See something our child loves with fresh eyes, unpainted by expectations,
Sit down next to them and say
"Show me, little one, show me what you have found."
Sunday, October 24, 2010
It has been awhile. I have missed writing here about my family. I think I finally have the words to articulate what is important to me about this blog.
It is a nice thought that one day my children might have a place to look to see the most shining parts of their childhood, but, I’ll be honest, this is of little importance to me. The truth is, I hope my children’s futures are so full of joy and life and learning and love that they really don’t have a whole lot of time to look back. There is so much to look forward to.
No, the real value of this little place I have carved out of space and time for myself is in this moment, as I am writing these words. Because as I watch the black letters roll onto this screen, I am finding and strengthening the best things about our lives together. I am activating and appreciating the beauty that this life is offering me, right now, right in this place, right with these people. And as these feelings well up inside me, moving from my heart to my eyes, and down my cheeks as tears of wonder at all that has been given me, I am becoming more of the person I want to be, the mother I want to be, the wife I want to be, the daughter I want to be, the sister I want to be, the neighbor, the friend, the Good I want to be.
So let me just take this moment to say simply:
I have two beautiful, buoyant, vital, sweet, loving, clever, joyful children. I never imagined I would have the honor of being present to witness the growing of such amazing beings. I think so highly of them that at times I am nervous about having a third child because I just figure at some point it has to end. But then I remember I know better, there is no end to love. And that’s what these children are. Pure, flowing, unending love
And my husband. How do you put words to having found the person who you are sure was made to be your partner in this life? Step for step we match each other, creating the life we want to live, loving our children and each other, and seeing in each other’s eyes the vast depth of who we all are. Our relationship transcends everything I read about marriages or relationships because it doesn’t feel like work to me. It only feels like home. There is a Knowing in me that found a voice only days after Stephen and I came together, and that Knowing is that there is nothing and no one that feels more Right than him.
For these things I am humbly grateful.
And for the chance to experience the fullness of these things here in my writing.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I have yet to post anything specifically about Sterling.
I am inspired all the time to write things about Noelle, or Noelle and I.
And so I asked myself why this was.
Noelle is my teacher. I believe she was my first for a reason. She has the tenacity, the resilience, and the determination to follow through on so many of the things I needed and still need to learn to live this life joyfully.
But with Sterling there is no learning, there is no challenge,no feeling of not being enough. There is just joy, confidence, perfect flow. I feel like a mother with him.
He is my knowing I have reached a place of clearer Seeing.
He is the cool river after a long hike.
He is the fullness of progress.
He is my satisfaction.
He is my song.
Friday, August 27, 2010
To say Noelle loves bellydancing is an understatement.
For the past month we have been going to drum circles and she has steadily moved closer and closer to the middle of the circle, becoming more and more a dancer and less and less an observer.
This last circle was the full moon circle. We all came together at the Stone Circle in the Garden of the Gods, where red rock giants surrounded us and the night was cool and still.
Noelle was draped in silk scarves of all colors, gold and silver coins jingling, on her head a pink crocheted hat draping beads down her back. She truly looked like a gypsy flower.
I watched the woman Noelle has followed lean down and wrap one of her coin belts around her waist, just for extra jingle. Then I watched her dance with Noelle, moving her arms just so, or her hips around, and then Noelle mimicking.
But the flow of learning wasn’t just adult to child. Noelle would dance to her as well, and she would smile and nod in appreciation of her. I could feel that what Noelle brought from her own heart was valued as much as the experience the older dancers brought.
And at the end of the night, when it was time to say goodbye, these women and men all lined up to tell Noelle how beautiful a dancer she is.
Underneath that starlit indigo sky, the deep black shadows of rock spires encircling our little group with people of all ages, from all paths, we came together with one common desire, to find connection with all we are and all that is, connection to the heartbeat of this earth, with the luminous white light in the sky, with each other.
It was in this magickal place I saw what I want for Noelle, for our family.
I want always for her to be seen for the beauty she brings to this place just by being.
I want folks to show her what they know with passion and love and an appreciation for the wholeness she already is.
I want life for her to be organic and flowing,
Filled with stars and rhythm.
I want her to always dance.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We wrote this to the woman whose condo we were renting, but I thought it was an appropriate Swan Song as we get ready to leave Angel Fire.
We stepped out in the crisp pine air,
Weary from a winding night’s journey,
Greeted by a warm New Mexican space
We call it
Stepping in chilly rivers
Running through flower-kissed meadows
Watching oceans of grass waving green in the sun
Then back to
Taos, Eagle’s Nest, Mora
Las Vegas, Red River, Cimarron
New places, new adventures, new friends
Then back to rest at
A little one who now knows
How big a mountain is,
What color adobe is,
What Power Bait smells like,
What fog feels like,
And thunder echoing through the valley sounds like
We will miss everyone that made our stay so wonderful in Angel Fire!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
It is interesting how traveling has changed my perspective on parenting.
When we go on a day trip the morning always starts out a little rocky. We don’t know exactly what we are going to do when we get to our destination, the car ride can be challenging with the baby, we are usually trying to figure out where we are going…
Then we finally reach where we are going and we pour out of the car, ready to find some space.
At this point I am usually questioning why we are doing this, if this was a good idea, am I expecting too much from my children, do I deserve to even be a parent (just kidding, but it isn’t far from what we parents sometimes say to ourselves over small things, right?:))
And then once we stretch into the wide open and feel the tightness in our bodies relax, and my breaths become deep and slow again, the world just starts flowing to us.
By the end of the day we have found some neat park or river or bookstore where we have spent the afternoon laughing and playing and making new friends.
And by the time we are driving home in the evening, a baby asleep in my arms, watching the mountains pass by out the window, I am thinking to myself how great the day ended up being.
And I am realizing that my way of showing the world to my children is changing. Before, I tried to avoid all negative experiences, anything that could overtax them.
But then I noticed how much pressure that was, how boring it was for the adults in the family, and how it wasn’t really working anyway.
So now, I find I just want the good to outweigh the bad, the fun to outweigh the stress, the love to outweigh the anger, the freedom to outweigh the rules, the yes's to outweigh the no’s.
And besides, one could get used to scenes like this:).
Monday, July 19, 2010
So many good people, so little time. It will be hard to leave this place.
First, the winery. The people here are wonderful. The lady brewmaster who makes dry berry wines that are delightful. Her husband, the sax player.
All the regulars who know everyone. The fact that they all remembered our names the next time they saw us.
The dogs whom Noelle runs around with while we relax, drink, and just be merry.
The night began with great blues music, Johnny Cash covers, and other songs I hadn’t heard before but could totally groove to. Hummingbirds danced overhead and the setting sun shone through my cranberry wine. Flowers hung all around, horses grazed in the pasture behind the winery,
and everyone was in high spirits.
Noelle began her rounds talking to everyone on the patio. After a few songs, she went to the front where she proceeded to dance for the rest of the night. Another girl joined after a bit, and the whole place clapped and danced and laughed along with them.
It was one of those nights you never forget.
And then there was tonight. A climb up a mountain road to a new restaurant to meet new friends. The food was great, the beer selection impressive, and the view fantastic. Noelle met a little girl, a special girl who would normally be labeled as disabled, although I have come to find children like this are anything but. Noelle sat beside her and they held hands, the girl stroked her hair and back from her wheelchair, Noelle wiped her mouth for her, her parents shared their meal with Noelle. The night ended with her grandfather’s eyes tearing up as he told us what a special daughter we had. He bought our dinner.
It was one of those nights you never forget.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Today we went to Monte Verde lake. It is a lake of the imagination.
Cool and clear,surrounded by soft green grass and wildflowers. It is shallow on all sides so you don’t have to worry about your little one falling in.
Mountains rise in the distance, and one can watch the shadows from the clouds slowly move over them.
It is a place to take out a little fishing boat.
A place to make new friends.
A place to watch baby ducks follow their mother through the water. And, just like in the children’s book, there is always one who likes to find his own way, make his own waves.
Noelle has seemed to find her own rhythm here. Today, Stephen and I were engrossed in conversation while she was playing in the mud with worms. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her run off down the shore.
I followed her wondering what she was doing. And then I saw her find the little beach and run into the water, splashing around at the tiny fish.
She did not tell me what she was doing, or was even aware that I knew where she was going.
For this, some might call her misbehaved, headstrong, belligerent.
But I remember the little duck who likes to make his own waves.
And so I call her none of these things.
Instead, I call her free.
Monday, July 5, 2010
We celebrated 4th of July in the little mountain town of Red River. While Angel Fire has a very contemporary, granola kind of feel, Red River is a true mountain town. Every building is made of logs, every business has plenty of wooden bear statues guarding it.
The parade was wonderful. People were glittering red white and blue in the sun, flying flags and ribbons, waving and throwing candy out to all the waiting hands. Noelle loved it. She would run out and grab the candy, run back and put it in her stroller, where she liked to sit on it until the next float came by. She even danced to the 60’s music blasting from one hippie float.
At dusk we parked on the side of the ride between Eagle’s Nest and Angel Fire and watched the fireworks lighting up the dark silhouette of the mountain behind them.
It was perfect. And as each firework exploded, I thought about freedom, about what the people who came to this country wanted in their heart of hearts. And I watched the light bursting forth from the darkness and thought about my little family and the freedom we have felt bursting forth from our hearts this last week.
Stephen and I finally feel like we are flowing in the river of our lives. Our personalities have never craved comfort and security, although we respect and enjoy those things -- but it is adventure, spontaneity, and growth that gets our blood flowing. We like to live on the edge of our comfort zone, laughing sometimes, crying other times, but feeling alive in every moment.
On so on this 4th of July, I felt, for the first time in a long time , truly and unequivocally free.
Friday, July 2, 2010
This is the view from our balcony. It looks over the village of Angel Fire.
We have been up here at 8300 feet 3 days now. Words can’t describe what it feels like to be in the presence of so much beauty.
But I will try.
Everything feels fresh and clear. My mind finds clarity here.
Even the most mundane things, like going to a playground, are filled with breathtaking landscapes.
I feel like I can’t see enough, can’t breathe enough, can’t hear enough to take in all that surrounds me.
I told Stephen,
“I was starving for this.”
Aspens shimmer and whisper as I pass by, breezes carry Christmas on them with the aroma of Evergreen, wildflower filled alpine meadows beckon us to spread our arms and fly,
and vistas that come suddenly into view constantly remind me to take a moment to allow the moment to overtake me, and remember how truly full of wonders this wonderful world is.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Sometimes it feels I am standing in front of the great pool of Love that is our source of creation.
Infinite light, infinite Knowing, infinite Love, infinite Beauty…
… and I see Reflections upon the surface. It is my family, and my life, yes…
...but so much more beautiful than I could, in my mind, have dreamt it to be.
It is my life flowing from that pool. It is Love revealing itself to me.