Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saying Good-bye: one journey ends, another begins...

Remember to always find joy in the simple things.
Hello, everyone! Yes, it has been a long time since I have been writing much of anything these days. I'm sure many of you have been thinking that I have been really busy with my newest addition to the family that I haven't had time to blog. Welcoming our daughter, Lachlan's little sister to the world 8 months ago now was a wonderful time for all of us. We have grown and changed as a family unit. Just when you thought you couldn't possibly fit anymore love into our house, a new little baby proves you wrong. We are all very happy and feel blessed.

We have been busy, but the honest truth is I haven't been any busier than usual. Our wee one is a dream baby and she and Lachlan nap at the same time for the most part so I actually have quite a bit of time to get things done around the house and I could blog to my heart's content for at least a couple of hours. How lucky am I?! The reason for my absence from blogoshpere is for another reason: Lachlan.

My little boy will be three this year. (Where has the time gone?) Over the last two years Lachlan has really blossomed and formed his own unique personality, making it quite apparent his likes and dislikes; his strengths and struggles. What I have noticed over the last year is that my son likes his space and freedom within this space. He loves to create and move and just be himself without disruption from the world around him. Most of his play, he does by himself, seeking me or his father only when he needs a question answered or wants to share an accomplishment. The rest of the time he is most content playing in silence; constructing, creating or imagining. It used to be if I interrupted him, he'd tell me to go away. Now, the polite little toddler that he is tells me, "Mommy, I'd like to play alone, please." I say, "okay" and go about my housewife business. At some point the silence in the house will break and I'll hear his little foot steps approaching me followed by, "Mommy, I need your help, please." This is the moment where things will go one of two ways for me. Either I will be able to solve his problem or he'll ask a question that will send me on a wild goose chase through google, seeking answers to such things as what a pudu eats or to what's the shape after a dodecagon. It would be simple to make up answers, (believe me, I've tried this!) he always knows when I'm lying and will insist that we investigate this further. Generally he likes to see proof of some kind (darn, technology!) It won't stop there. If a pudu eats grass then it will turn into what grass consists of: we'll have to take about chlorophyll, root systems and photosynthesis.  And once he has learned what a hendecogon is he'll want to sound it out so he can read it. I never imagined in a million years I'd take about such things with my toddler but that is the reality of it. Another reality is that I am not cluey enough for all of this and I need someone as a live-in Doctorate of All Things to be at my beckon call.  Learning just evolves and evolves like this in our house...Okay, maybe I don't have much blog time afterall!

His love for learning is like every child's. He's fascinated by the world around him and soaks it all up. He often takes it to perplexing levels, that's for sure. He certainly keeps me on my toes and even my husband who is such highly gifted and talented man. I have to admit though, I love seeing him being outsmarted by a toddler every so often!

With all this passion, comes a sense of privacy. Lachlan loves to share what he learns, but it is always on his own terms; when he is confident about his knowledge and feels secure that what he projects will be accepted with open arms. I've been watching these characteristics develop for awhile now and as his parent I've been sensitive to his wishes. Over the last year, he has asked me to not take pictures of him when he's playing. I can tell that the camera seems like an invasion of his privacy  as he often asks me to stop when he sees me take it out. I'm sure there are parents out there that would take the photos anyway or sneak a shot when the child isn't watching. I am not this parent, though. I respect my children and their emotions. There creations and thoughts are their own, certainly not something for me to broadcast with the world when I know it would be against their wishes.

Being a parent has a lot of responsibilities. There are many challenges. Some of the largest ones are those that challenge our way of thinking. One of the reasons I went into my line of work as a developmental specialist is because I love to observe children and families and reflect on what I see. Reflection, I have found is a piece of the child-rearing puzzle that so many people are missing. It isn't even just parents that lack this valuable skill, but also many teachers and childcare professionals.

I firmly believe the keys to good reflection are open-mindedness, empathy and respect. Are you respectful to your child's thoughts and feelings? Being respectful doesn't mean you tolerate negative BEHAVIOUR, but you tolerate and accept negative feeling and EMOTIONS. This is a big realisation and ah-ha moment for some people. Once you truly believe in this thought process and accept its meaning, you will be able to view your child's emotions differently. You will be empathatic and our world needs more empathy, that's for sure.

So with all of this said, I say goodbye. It is a fitting time to end this chapter as we begin a new one next week in a new home. Fresh walls to place our creations and empty rooms to fill with all sorts of imaginative things; accented with love and laughter, of course. I will however be starting a new blog, Emergent Parenting for professional purposes which may be of interest to those who have enjoyed this one. It will be full of information relating to child and family development and will be up and running within the next month or two. I will still share a lot of my home experiences with my children, but in a more private way.

So thank you, thank you for taking the time to follow along on Lachlan's journey over the last couple of years. We both hope that you enjoyed reading our adventures and that you were inspired to create some with the little, dear ones in your own live. Someone once said that life is a journey. It is true, but it is filled with MANY journeys, I believe. Some go on for along time and some end or just begin a new trajectory. What ever journey you are on, whether it be a journey as a parent or other, I hope that it is a journey of peace and that you stop to enjoy all the simple pleasures. I blogged before about stopping to smell the roses, so to speak and stopping to listen, truely listen to your children. Our children will take us on the best journeys if we let them. It isn't always easy and sometimes it is VERY messy but it is ALWAYS worth it. Because in these journeys your child doesn't just grow, you both grow together.

I hope to see you around the other blog...and if you'd like to leave a comment at the end of this for Lachlan it would be most treasured. Before I delete this blog from cyber space I plan on printing it off and putting it in a book for him for his third birthday so we can sit down together and relive some of our wonderful adventures. I think it would be a special treat for him to have a message from someone that he might have inspired.

Signing off and as always, Happy Parenting!

Lachlan and Lachlan's mommy