Super Proud of Sophie last night, her dance solo for her induction to the National Honors Music Society was fantastic ! Super special with Sam home from college to watch her be inducted into the program that he is also a member of. Love this group and their performances the most, it’s totally student run and kids who are musicians or singers might also play an instrument or dance, or visa versa. Where else can you see a traditional Bag Pipe performance alongside Modern Dance. Because they choose all the music and methods of expression it is not just their skill, it’s their joy and passion that comes out.
Plus I got to do Sophie’s hair, so cool !
Somewhere along the line people have confused the idea of fitting in with belonging. What bulls..t! Everyone belongs, they need to. If someone feels like they don’t belong, it’s our job to make them feel that way. That is how I have always tried to live my life and I have tried to instill that in my children. If someone is being hurt or shut out in any way; emotionally, physically, verbally, then we are all vulnerable to that kind of treatment. I’m not Ghandi or Mother Teresa, it’s logic and self preservation, we are here together and we need each other to exist it’s just fact. Feeling like you fit in and belong in a supremely messed up world, where people in power are trying to segregate and hate anyone who is an “other, is not a sign of good mental or emotional health. Take it from a mental health specialist, seriously that’s free, no charge this time.
There are studies, many of them poor, some may be worthwhile, that focus on various aspects of parenting. What I have learned after 20 plus years as a child and family counselor, and as the mother of two teen agers, is that parenting is more about what it’s not. Like romantic love or marriage, there are many ill conceived and misguided stereotypes and myths about parenting and it’s hard to cut that away and see what is what. Parenting isn’t happiness, it’s not pretty and sweet and light. It’s often messy, it can get pretty dark and truly painful physically and emotionally. That makes sense though, because when you open yourself up to someone completely, in a selfless giving way, you are vulnerable to feel all the bad as well as the good. Parenting is not biological, it’s not about sex or gender, families are so much more and they always have. With grandparents raising grandkids, and single parents, and two parents of the same gender. Now there are more positive images of those families of all shapes and sizes out there for people to see. There are many things that parents do for children, there’s nothing in fact that a parent wouldn’t do for a child, that cliche I think is true (when the parent is a real parent). What the parent chooses not to do, that is what people don’t know about and that can be much harder. I’m not going to pick you up this time when you fall. When you step back as a parent to let them fail, or let them make a choice and take a hit, especially when you can see it coming, that is difficult. As parents what you don’t do, where you choose not to insert yourself, what parenting is not is just as hard and sometimes harder than what it is.
It’s been too long since I posted anything, but then since this is a blog that’s focused on parenting and family that can be explained but the acting that I was parenting and focused on my family 🙂 I have been the main supporter of my daughter’s HS Track and Field Booster Club and navigating the transition into an adult relationship with my son in his first year of college (also involved in Track) so this time of year (Track Season) is CRAZED! Both my children are doing well in their respective sports/events, but it’s more than that. They have found people, purpose and belong with Running and Track. As a parent and a child and family counselor I know that any coach/teacher or person directing an activity for young people has an amazing opportunity, and I have seen it either squandered or in some cases really f’ed up. I am SUPER grateful that my kids have mentors and team mates that focus on what’s important and support each other. When organized sports for youth are that way across the board it does have the power to change the world, only slight hyperbole 😉
Stay Strong New Zealand #Christchurch #Loveforall
Happy International Women’s Day and here’s to hopes for greater gender balance in our world. I know I will be working within my own family, my community, and in every way I can to promote and expect a gender balance economically, socially, culturally and in all ways. I will keep those expectations high and take inspiration from my daughter’s generation to get rid of other expectations about gender all together. Especially those preconceived notions that are used to stereotype, devalue or exclude some people. Here’s to a better, balanced world. #BetterforBalance
My beloved father in law Daniel sent this to me today. Jane, my mother in law, Dan and our whole family vacationed in France. It was unquestionably one of the greatest times of my life. Our babies, Sophie turned 3 on the trip, and Sam was just 7 years old. Love and family truly are everything, and that is the Notre Dame my angel.
I try to keep this blog not so political. But the political is surely personal now. Please sign the Petition I started with MoveOn.org at the link below, and share it. I believe families and people in Real Emergencies need help, have been promised help, and as a Nation we can do better.
Marathon Runner, Wooden Boat Enthusiast, and my best friend and lover for the past 30 years. Happy Birthday Babe!