Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Two | Main | Lego-ing »

Waking up

"It is never too late to wake up from a nightmare" *

This morning I was surfacing from sleep gently, listening to the sounds of the world waking around me, and in those moments of drifting in and out of dreams I found myself smack dab in the middle of a terrible, terrible nightmare: a family vacation, a misstep off a very high dock over very deep water, and I was desperately trying to rescue my son from sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Just writing this brings back the feeling of desperation and helplessness that I tried to shake immediately upon waking. So why on earth would I rehash it here? Because it started me thinking. It's true that lately I've felt like I was drowning—drowning in a sea of things that need to be put away, of chores that are getting away, of things that must be done versus things I want to do, of missteps and frustrating moments. That nightmare? It might just be a wakeup call: something isn't working.

Of course, I've known that something wasn't working for a few weeks now. Be it the heat, the late nights, the age, I've mentioned before that we've all hit a wall as far as congeniality goes. Calvin is wonderful. He's sensitive, he's motivated, he's interested, he's bright, and in the past few weeks he's also started to show himself as strong willed. Now a strong will is a great thing, but without thinking about it my initial reaction was to demand compliance, and that made me grouchy, that made him grouchy, that made all of us grouchy. It was a vicious circle. Then I wrote a week or two ago about trying a more definitive weekly plan as a way of handling this, and honestly it's been going just fine. Peace is returning, but defnitive and authoritarian just isn't the path we wanted to take. It's not even the path we were on just a few months ago. It's hard to tell where we took the wrong turn, and the change in direction happened so gradually I think we didn't even notice it right away, but now it's time to find our way back.

This is a hard thing to write about. It's hard to admit to making mistakes, to being lost, to taking wrong turns, but I've always maintained that I have the right to change my mind, and it's time to do that now. On a recommendation from an unschooling mom I greatly respect I've started reading a new book: "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves" by Naomi Aldort. I'm only one chapter in and already I can see the difference I want to make, the change I want to be. It won't happen overnight, but I believe we can go from being the authoritarian parents we've become, to being the teachers and partners in learning that we once were and still want to be. I'll be spending the next few days on the first chapter of Aldort's book, moving from "reacting" in situations, to sharing in them, and then on from there. I guess you could call this our newest journey, a journey back to the family we knew we wanted but somehow stepped away from, and I want to share some of that journey here, in case our experience can motivate someone else the way that other moms have motivated me.

*from Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, by Naomi Aldort

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.