How to raise kids without squishing them...
By that i mean how do we leave intact the innate wonder and sense of connectedness to this sacred web of life we are all born with?
How to raise kids that are open to the beauty in the diversity of the world and it’s people? To raise children who see the people beyond the colour and culture, yet still learn from and celebrate those gorgeous shades of the human rainbow and their dances, art, music and schools of thought and ritual.
How to raise kids who accept and celebrate families of one parent, two dads, three mama’s, only children, tribes of kids?
How to raise people who feel free in their bodies, express their emotions and respect others, who run riot in the woods and yet cradle newborn babies with adoration and gentleness, as they were at birth.
How to raise kids to find their gifts they are here walking the earth to give.?
How to keep intact and encourage the love and respect for natures complex and shining web that sustains us all?
How to seek affinity with all her creatures: no-legs to fourleggeds, finned folk to leafed ones? How to grow that deep running sense of place and belonging?
How do we share our visions of the sustainable world we strive toward? And yet dance the gap between what is healthy in our societies and what is ailing and in need of care and transformation?
How do we celebrate our struggles and be clear about what we learn along the path of creating social change? How do we express apology to our children when we are not clear in taking responsibility for our anger, or our fears, or our pain. For we are but human.
Kids learn from us. Their play echoes our movements and the dances of our daily lives. Our ways of coping in times of stress flags for them how that is done. Our ways of relating to our partners, neighbours, shopkeepers, sisters and fathers form frameworks of possibility as our children soak up all that unfolds around them. Our laughter as we skip through puddles and slow down enough to talk to bugs tells them we are worthy of being their guides, that we are still in touch with our true selves.
Through guiding our children we are reminded of the importance of all these things for our own selves. When we neglect our own vital selves and live solely to serve others, we cheat our children out of learning that we all need time for ourselves, for our hearts to sing, feet to stamp and our quietness to gift us with vision of the path ahead.
We learn through their soaring and stumbles. We learn our children are our teachers too. Parenting as a spiritual practice. On my death bed, and it is one of life’s mysteries when that time will come, i will not be wishing i worked more, bought more things or spent less time with my child.
I imagine there are many many answers to these questions. Here are some of mine: Intuition, bone-deep instinct, shining-eyed tribe/family, mindfulness, belly laughter and freeflowing tears, the powerful blessing of touch, interconnectedness...and books. Yep, books can help us in so many ways. Next post i will be offering up some of our favourite books that reflect who we are, who we learn from and who we strive to be.
My most treasured possessions - two shells Jed found down South, carried them tenderly all the way back to me and presented them like some might diamonds.