~dd~

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Let me tell you about this funny twisty rainbow thing. It’s going to be a skirt someday. And I say someday because it’s on size 4 needles with sock-weight yarn. But it has a really great story that goes with it. I had glimpsed this pattern via a friend, online, the work of a local designer. Suddenly, inexplicably, within the last 24 hours of my deadline for writing my last paper, I became obsessed with the pattern. The idea of a new celebratory knitted *something beautiful* at the end of a very long road of education consumed me when I should have been focused on the finish. I emailed my friend and just begged her to let me take a look at the pattern—I’m a good girl about pattern copyright and all that—but I just wanted to see it to confirm whether I wanted to move forward with my obsession.

She totally got it, like the obsession part. She scanned it within about ten minutes and I promised I would purchase my own legit copy. But the next day she emailed me back and said she’d gone ahead and paid up in the yarn store for “my” copy, that I could pay-it-forward in support of the Ashwood Waldorf School or an investment in coffee for a “grouchy person.” Now this project has ratcheted up its level of awesome in terms of the good connections and support that exist in this world. Beauty all around.

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~dd~ is the keyboard shorthand for the gesture that you make with both hands, kind of dusting them off, when you are DONE with something. Like it’s over, you’re done with it, you’ve had it, washing my hands of that, it’s enough already, no more, quit it, that kind of done. The kind of done that I am right now, with my master’s degree.

I am still a little bit in shock. Sort of floating in a sense of spaciousness… Having the freedom to say YES to a spontaneous lunch date with girlfriends. Or YES to staying an extra day while visiting family because we’re having a good time. It’s my first April vacation in about seven years (!) when I get to vacate with the rest of my family and not have a school assignment or the end of the semester looming over me.

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~still life with reading material~

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Sometimes the hardest moments of parenting are when I know I can’t/shouldn’t “fix it” for my children. They need to strive, to struggle, to wallow, to face their own challenges in their own way. My job is to be there: to listen and love, to support and encourage. Magda Gerber had some wonderful ideas about this in her book Your Self-Confident Baby, but they apply here also. What does your baby learn if you see that she’s reaching for a toy and just hand it to her? She needs to try and strive and stretch that little arm out and miss and try again and get frustrated, etc., until she’s built up her own muscles and coordination to get there herself.

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I will be there as a loving witness to the striving and frustration (gulping down my “fix-it” tendencies), and I’ll be there when it’s time to celebrate my boys’ successes and triumphs. On their own terms.
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