i have always thought a great reason for having more than one child is the realization that came to me with the birth of my second child: it is not all about your parenting. with my first born i thought if i do everything “right” he would “turn out” a certain way. with so many definitions of right and “turning out” itself bring pretty darn subjective, this leads to an enormous amount of mama stress. i suspect most of us would agree the birth of the first child and the beginning of the motherhood journey already carries with it the potential for quite a bit of fretting. why add more?
with the second child it became clear to me that each is unique, delightful, different and born that way. the nature of this special being just is. somehow this knowledge proved to be a salve for me during times of parental uncertainty. now, well over a decade into my journey as a mother and deep in toddlerhood with my third child the calm is so great, the enjoyment so deep, i want to figure out a way to share it with all first time mamas.
this past week has been the week of my second born, my lone daughter, my dancer. from early on it became clear that her needs were different from her older brother. sasha found all he needed here, as he grew and developed and learned more, his learning tools grew with our farm.
madeline has always been different. an artist like her father, she thrived here with the creek and woods defining her pallete, but it was clear she longed for more.
as her mother and earlierst guide on her path, it was my joy to help her meet those needs, so off to study art and dance we went. it began so smoothly with her her first dance teachers being teenagers we had known since birth, it was very familial and easy for me to enter the world of dance mom.
now with recital week 2013 a thing of the past, and 4 years of dance at multiple dance studios under my belt, i can breathe deeply and reflect on what all this means. child led learning is an education for us as parents. we must let go of our expectations of what our children should be and what they must like and what they want to learn and simply watch them, respond to them and offer them the opportunities again and again to do what they want, learn how they want and be who they were born to be. what a joy to share these lives unfolding together.