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Autumn Moms

One of the greatest frustrations I had in my earliest parenting days, with my newborn daughter, was that just when I thought I had figured out her routine – her fussy times, alert times, hungry times, tired times –her entire schedule changed, and I had to start figuring her out anew. What I didn’t realize then is the extent to which I would have to keep reinventing myself, uncovering layers of patience and creativity, passion and discipline, to model and encourage continued growth in my children.  As my children grow and change, I am both forced to keep up with them, but am also reminded that growth is perhaps what this whole game of living is all about. So many of the frustrations, challenge, and excitements of parenting comes during those moments of transition, and perhaps the most important life skill we can teach our children is to navigate those moments of flux with grace, humor, and perseverance.

 The Jewish High Holidays celebrate the cycle of growth and change. At this time of year in the Jewish calendar, we are asked to dedicate ourselves to re-examining who we are, and whom we could be. Mothers, women whose lives are so consumed with caring for others, have the extra challenge of ensuring that they are nourishing their own personal growth and potential as well as their children’s. We must remember how closely our children, and our daughters especially, watch us, and check our words against our deeds. Are we engaging in activities that nourish our passions? Do we even know what those passions are? Are we trying new things, taking risks? So often, children think that it is the parents who have all of the power in the parent-child relationship. But, in the realm of growth and change, it is definitely the children who are actively powerful; often, we draw on past experiences, rather than present ones, to guide our children as they grow. Mothers can benefit from leveling that playing field, and allowing themselves to keep diving into the messy waters of life, imagining and re-imagining who they wish to be, whom they could become, allowing themselves to grow, to learn, and to change. I may actually try surfing this year. Who knows? Maybe my kids will even have some good advice for me along the way…


 

photo credit: WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com) via photopin cc