I don't have anything, really, to share with you, dear readers.
I am tired. very tired. night after night of storms waking my little one, and worry about friends without electricity, and a late, late night, have taken their toll.
Any energy I seem to have is artificial, created tonight by red wine and chocolate.
I'm headed to bed, not writing a long post for you, not engineering the entries I had wanted to make into my book.
Going to bed, to sleep.
And perhaps, I will dream a new story. I have a night off from Boy and Cat -- our own boy fell asleep in the car on the way home from a playdate/babysitting time, and he sleeps still...
don't eat the story!!
Yep. Today was supposed to be the day I open the gates for all of you chomping at the bit to get your hands on Magical Bedtime. And I have opened the oven door, poked it with a toothpick, and it just isn't ready.
I have a lot of excuses. You aren't interested in those. They're likely just like yours: end of the school year, so busy busy busy, one thing after another, yadda yadda yadda.
What do I have for you, then? A little smidgen. A taste of things to come. Here's how it works:
You fill in the little contact box below with your email address. I will send you a link to a FREE STORY. Yes. Free. For you and your children. It's simple and lovely, this story. It's not too long.
So, just fill in the box, and get your own audio copy of "Masha and the Bear," as told by me. In return, I ask that you send others my way. Over the next few weeks, I'll make other stories available to you, and I will also be doing a series of Magical Bedtime posts. By summer's end, look for a beautiful ebook and set of all-new stories to purchase and have as your own.
Have I mentioned that I live with a four-year-old boy? And that my partner works A LOT? And that preschool is over for the summer?
Lots of parents start pulling their hair out as summer break approaches, especially those who work at home. Here are three quick ways to save some sanity as these long days loom long before us.
What are you planning for the summer?
As a Waldorf mother, I'm not the greatest. My son watches a cartoon show on my computer or my partner's about once every two weeks. We are inside right now. We may or may not go out in the rain later. I do not keep all screens turned off around my son, and we talk to him way too much, with too much intellectual question-asking and explaining.
As a mother, I am not that bad. My son is fed, dressed, and loved. He eats fruit and vegetables and whole grains daily. He goes to preschool with lovely, sweet teachers, and he is tucked into a safe, warm bed every night. His toys are a mixture of natural and mainstream, thanks to loving grandparents. I have sought out a faith community that supports our family and offers him ways to connect with his highest good. I read and tell stories. We bake together. I offer regular hugs and snuggles and tell him how much I love him. We brush his teeth together, and he has a regular bedtime routine.
See how that second list is longer than the first? Take a moment, parents, and list all the ways you are doing well. I bet that, all things considered, you are doing pretty well.
There is a lot of pressure in the Waldorf parenting community to be "perfect". To have the right toys, the right paint on the walls, the right meals, the right way of speaking to your child -- all noble pursuits, but not an end in themselves. We can easily lose sight of the goal here, lost in a forest of material desires, and we forget that the point is to help children develop into loving, responsible, INDEPENDENT adults. When we abdicate our own authority of what is good, beautiful, and true, to Pinterest and mommy blogs (even this one!) and high-minded books, we are not being worthy models of imitation (big goal of Waldorf early years parenting)! We are showing our children that we are not to be trusted -- we don't even trust ourselves!
Take a breath. Know that you are capable of extraordinary parenting, living, and teaching, and that the greatest gift you can give your child is confident, loving parenting. Trust yourself. Do your best, and forgive yourself for being imperfect. Celebrate the journey -- take what works for your family, for you, from those sources that inspire you, and let go of the rest.
I am working on yelling less and listening more. On making magical moments, and of letting myself work hard when I need to work. My child is playing baseball with a soft foam ball and a mailing tube while I type this. I pitch a few balls, then type a few lines. It's working today.
Take a breath. In, and especially out.
Over the last few weeks, I have lost faith. Trying to make my own way, to create something new and from the heart, is scary. It is scary to make things, and it is scary to put my heart and soul out there for the whole world to see. So I retreated. I have been searching job boards and websites, sending out resume after resume. I keep thinking, I have to have a job, I have to have work, I have to make money...
Hear all those have tos? Do you know what children do about have-tos? If you are my child, you whine loudly, flop on the floor, and wail, "Stop telling me what to doooooooooo!" And that, dear readers, is what I have been doing inside, with every resume, every application...
Well, not every one. There have been a few jobs that have really sounded fun, and I think I would enjoy doing that work.
The solution, I think, is in refusing to play small. I need to step up, step into the light, step up to the plate, and believe that I will hit it out of the park.
I have so much I want to share with you, so much I have gleaned from 36 years of living, 14 years of teaching, 4 1/2 years of parenting, 10 years of relationship...
I hold back from blogging, wondering if what I have to say is appropriate to this space, but then I remember that what makes me feel awesome to write, may be what makes someone feel awesome to read.
So, let's step into the light and make things happen. I want to do it. Fear or no, let's step in. I am trying to learn to yell less and love more, to say yes more often, and no with more integrity. I want to be fully myself in everything, my most beautiful and my most haggard.
Trust is essential to this. Trust is hard for me, not because I have been let down by those I've trusted, but because it means I have to let go a little bit of the control I try so hard to maintain. The funny thing is, that control is a complete illusion. I don't have it under control.
The word I chose for this year is "flow". It's been coming up a lot lately. Go with the flow, be in flow, cash flow...
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.