Sunday, May 31, 2009

are they really monsters

I don’t need to be obsessed with order here. I am afraid my need for order sometimes stifles the kids’ creativity. I also acknowledge that a clean, orderly home protects their creativity. Too much clutter is too distracting.

So I’ll probably be writing about The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for a while. Actually I’m working in The Artist’s Way Workbook.

One of my first tasks in the section called “Recovering a sense of safety” is to do “time travel”…”describe three old enemies of your creative self-worth.."historic monsters".. hmmm…I am grateful to say that when I travel back in time, I remember encouraging people, including my parents, friends, teachers. I am grateful for that.

So there are a few from my college years. But why dwell on that? I’m grateful that I did take a break from performing…its given me a chance to focus on other important goals…like my family. So I am grateful for those “historic monsters of my creative self-worth…” maybe they didn’t intend any offense anyway.
I worry more that I not be a monster in anyone else’s life. Especially my children.

I’m thinking of Ben’s garbage collection. Could I be thwarting his career as a found artist? I hope not. We did take him to a great found art exhibit last winter. I do encourage it…I just don’t want rotting milk cartons under the bed. I’m going to try to be very encouraging this week. But no Sam, that doesn’t mean I have to buy you a Mac notebook to support your movie making. Not this week at least.

Friday, May 1, 2009

how to behave

So, my progress on this blog has been blocked by my own self-imposed need to write about a parenting book. I pulled one out more than a month ago. I was having a particularly difficult time getting Mary ready for school in the mornings, and not behaving very well myself.

I like to flip through How to Behave So Your Preschooler will, Too by Sal Severe and read a paragraph here and there, but I have felt really unispired when I’ve tried to read it from cover to cover.
So to move on with things, a few things that I found helpful...

1) Try to calm the child….I need to do better at this. I tend to launch in to a lecture which I am conviced will be so well-spoken that it will surely be the last I need to deliver….never the case. So we just have a loud house and unhappy mom and kids. Its nice when I remember to take a minute and actually savor the opportunity to be the one who is there to comfort another. Its nice. And it usually stops being so loud.

2) Talking about time with kids since they are developing a new sense of sequence and that is important to them so they can feel in control of the day. Just like we feel.

Okay so that’s really all. I’ll put this book back on the shelf for now and try to behave myself better so I won’t have to pull it out again. Its really a great reference, if not the most entertaining parenting book.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

duggar family

This has been my riding-into-Beijing reading lately. I was in a taxi when I finished reading it and looked up, kind of jarred out of my sweet thoughts of Arkansas by the towering gray apartments.

My form of escapist literature.

The Duggars make my operation feel like small, mismanaged potatoes.

I'm inspired by their expressions of faith and gratitude, as they tell their stories about trials and miracles with good-natured humor.

They are practical and thrifty. As an example, the reasoning behind the same colored shirts; to save time and money by making fewer loads of laundry. That's not just thrift, that's unity...sacrificing for the good of the whole.

I tried instigating the read the Proverb to match the day of the month routine. So we made it twice in a week...not bad for us. It fostered some good discussion. I think we'll try again this week.
Their website has great pictures of the amazing house that they built themselves. The Duggar home would be a fascinating destination.