Adventures and Transitions in Parenting

As a parent I find that my life has been in a constant flux for the last eight years. When my children were infants I felt as though I was trying to survive on interrupted sleep, coffee i.v. and cuddles; with the occasional adult time with my partner. As toddlers we worked through emotional, mental and physical growth in their body, mind and spirit; often in leaps and bounds.

Now my children are 8, 6, and 3. The infant stage is long behind us and while I miss the cuddles of infancy, I love seeing my children’s personalities emerge and grow. I don’t know if I am better at seeing the cognitive and emotional jumps because this is my third child or he is just more obvious in his behavior changes but we are going through the three’s. With my three year old there is a sadness when his stages end, as we are done having little kids.

Conversely, my 6 year old struggles between his personal freedoms and staying home with mama. But I love hearing his stories of lunchtime escapades. Yesterday, he was pikachu and his best friend was his trainer … they paired up against another trainer and Pokemon in the schoolyard. I am not sure how they were “catching” or “battling” each other but I got a call from school about roughhousing at lunch and the scrape on his chin. After finding out it was a tiny scrape and the story behind it the nurse did not know how to react when I laughed at the boys escapades. I was just glad he was having fun with friends and using his imagination.

My 8 year old and I are going through a huge transition. Traditional schooling is not working out for her, so we are beginning our adventures in online schooling and homeschooling. She could not be more excited. Especially since she has a laptop from the school, something she had been begging for and we said no. However, I have borrowed one from the school because I like the flexibility it offers me in her education and still attending to her brothers pre-school homeschool education.

We have spent the last part of this month in what is called unschooling. Allowing a natural transition from the traditional school environment to being homeschooled. She has been a part of setting up the kids office space and today will help me rearrange the bookshelf to put all her schoolbooks away from the toddlers reach; plus keep her art and science supplies away from our house art and science supplies. Each day she has been doing assignments and reading based on what I have given her to see what does and doesn’t work. She has ADHD, so this has been a good time for me to learn what does and doesn’t work for timeframes and projects. It will be a learning curve but for the first time in a few years she is excited about school.

Yesterday, I spent the morning signing up for this semesters homeschool classes at the zoo and science center. There are several homeschool co-ops to reach out to in the area, drum lessons to be procured. Plus arrangements to be made with friends for guitar lessons and music reading/theory. We are fortunate that the pool of people to assist us with homeschooling and supplemental education include: IT professionals, Computer Sciences Professor, Professional Storyteller, Environmental Conservationist, Earth Sciences Enthusiast, Math teacher, Music teacher, Musicians, crafters, artists …. and this is why it takes a village.

The adventures continue and I find that as they do my personal focus can begin to shift a little more personally. A lot of who I am and what I love has been set aside for the last eight years to fully be there for my family. I didn’t want to miss a moment of my little ones being little, especially since my husband gave me the gift of being a stay at home parent. There is not a moment of regret at this sacrifice, but now that they are growing it is time for me to reclaim and rediscover mama.

I have been spending a lot of introspective time. In this I have been reminiscing on who I was before children and who of that person is still there. My love of writing has never diminished; however I do wish inspiration struck during the daylight instead of the middle of the night but I will take inspiration however I can get it. There is also the craftsperson, gardener, herbalist, chef, meditation guide, aromatherapist and lover of the old ways that honor the cycle of life. Slowly, I breathe life back into myself and allow myself and my children to discover who this person is.

Sassy Mama

Writing Advice from Ray Bradbury

When I was a high school senior we were instructed to write people we admire. The goal was to see if we could be persuasive enough to get a response. I wrote to Ray Bradbury and Tom Clancy and received responses from both.

From Ray Bradbury “If I were to advise writers my advice would go simply like this: Begin writing when you are 12 if possible. Fall in love with the arts,for from them you will learn how to touch, see, smell, know the world. Educate your hands by drawing, educate your ear by listening, educate your nose by running against the wind, keep your eyes wide and your mouth shut. Write every day and every day of your life until it becomes such an immense love you can’t help yourself”

This advice has served me my entire life. Now, I am taking time to focus on another piece of advice from him: “When I speak on writing I only try to rev people up, to turn them back to their own self-starter. I know that if they can produce in quantity, eventually they will produce quality. Without quantity there can be no quality. Quantity is a way of getting rid of chaff, to reduce down to the seed.”

I have worried too much about niches, styles, focus, etc and it has done nothing but hamper me. Recently I took a huge leap of faith (with support of my amazing tribe) and began to GM (game master or run) our Iron Kingdoms tabletop RPG (role playing game). Writing for them has been amazing.

The biggest boost I received was when one of them told me that I tell a great story so running a game will come naturally once I understand the GM mechanics; which are different than player mechanics. It has greatly helped my creativity and confidence.

I am once again following my dream of being a writer by writing as often as I can and sharing those stories. This experience is giving me the confidence I need to take the time to apply to my passion and let the story share itself with me.

The more that I write and share, the more whole I feel. When I do not write the anxiety and depression take hold and uncertainty consumes me. Writing makes me a better person. It feels true to myself and as though I am doing what I was meant to do. This makes me a better person all the way around. Which is fantastic for my family, as well as myself.

“The more one writes the more honest one becomes. The more one vomits forth,the truer his style and, of course, by style we always mean Basic Truth, don’t we? Style is not an ornament, but the heart and soul of a man revealed. It is what he is, isn’t it? Not what he pretends to be,but the true man standing naked, alone, and somewhat proud of finally shucking ornaments and finding his own skin.” Ray Bradbury

Blessings

Irisa

Passionate Commitment

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. ~ Ray Bradbury

Bradbury once told me that the way to let the good stuff out was to write every day. Allow the words to pour out of yourself onto the paper. Some will be rubbish, some will be good. So I committed to writing each day. Eventually, well-meaning advice, life, and non-believers beat me down until I stepped back from my passion.

Now, I am re-committed to my passion. I will write each day. I will share writings. Some will be good, some will be bad. I won’t worry about formulas, themes etc. I will develop my passion and see where it’s love takes me.

What passionate journey do you embark upon?

Blessings,

Irisa