Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Microcosm of Parenthood...

It struck me tonight, in my random meanderings as I lay waiting for the wee one to drift off after story time, just how magnified our shortcomings are when the little ones come along.  Because we want to model to our children how to view the world, or handle certain situations, or come to view as normal behavior of the opposite sex, when we fall short of these ideals we have for ourselves and for them, it’s so embarrassingly, glaringly obvious.  

I have a tendency to be pretty socially awkward, many times on the verge of anxiety, because I have a real tendency to say the most randomly awkward things without thinking them through, or to not say anything for entire conversations…I also have an overly analytical thought process that tends to take things very personally…and I have a hard time letting old situations go to make room for new opportunities and growth…ah, the list could go on…

So when I think of the things that I want to model for wee Finnegan: courage in the face of new social situations while still listening to his intuition....the practice of self love and acceptance and forgiveness (and with my overly analytical inner critic this is a CONSTANT PRACTICE.) and facing those scary situations, well every situation really, with humor and compassion, and without taking things personally….seeing the best in everyone, being present to what is going on in that moment…

I can see these things I want for Finn as direct opposites of what I perceive as my shortcomings.  Many things I’m not worried about, I’ve got those down: working hard for goals that you want to attain, setting a plan of action for adventures and going after them passionately…when I know there’s something I want to do or achieve, I’m a go getter.  It’s the small details that hang me up, and that become mountains under that microscope.  Within the microcosm of parenthood, they become the big things, the important things, because they are the every day things...But what else they do is provide tremendous opportunity for a constant practice on who I want to be, because who I want to be is what I want to model to my kid.  And that is something that I’m pretty thankful for, because it was really easy to skate by before parenthood hit me…it’s exhausting, and humbling, but it’s really why having kiddos makes you a better person.


  1. I want to add another facet to your parenting adventure. I want you to find something everyday and see it through the eyes of your child! Not as you want to see it in your quest to become the perfect parent, but as your child sees it. It's a perfect medium for rediscovering the world in general and your world in particular.

    You're rapidly approaching the time when even as young as our children are, they want to exert their own ideas, opinions and their sense of control in their own lives. The toys, games, foods and activities that they loved last week may be their least favorites next week. The old favorites may come back, or they may be replaced forever. You never know, it's not that you are doing wrong as a parent, it means you are doing right. You have taught your child to explore, learn and try new options.

    And sometimes kids just want to enjoy some spontaneity. Even if you packed a bag full of healthy snacks, and are carrying a back pack full of learning tools, they just want to run in circles and act like little super destroy kids, and then maybe, on a magic kind of day, they will come to complete stop, look towards the sky with their eyes closed. They will open their arms to the world and say "Do you feel it? The wind is kissing our cheeks!"

    And those are the times when you need to put down the backpack full of healthy snacks, and disregard the bug catching kit, the magnifying glass, the kite and all the things you carried out there with you and run in circles and feel the wind!

  2. I'm not sure mine is a quest to become the perfect parent by any means, that seems pretty unattainable! I suppose I'm just trying to be mindful of opportunities for growth, otherwise they come in under a more guilty guise. But yes, those silly times when all you do is dance around as wild as you can, or eat lunch under the table, or balance on tree stumps, those are when you feel like you're doing it right...and they always tend to be the simplest ones too. Or just let them be to do the business of growing, and let them lead...Sitka, and Alaska in general, is a pretty remarkable place for that, with all the natural beauty...