Archive | June, 2011
June 17, 2011

Kid Wisdom

Glow Worm Cave, North Island New ZealandFriends and wisdom show up in some of the most unexpected places.  I’ve recently  discovered a terrific Facebook group, Families on the Move, and this poem appeared there over the weekend from Mojito Mother.  (I’m captivated simply by the name and her blog: Mojito Mother — Putting the MOJO Back into a Mother’s Life.)

Raising kids is hard, at least if you want to do it well.  Teaching them, mentoring them, knowing when to dial it up then dial it down. It’s a balancing act, and all of us struggle to figure out how to do it right. I remember almost 15 years ago when my god-daughter (who was around 15 at the time) observed “I think Mom needs to set more boundaries for me. I need them.” It was one of those notes-to-self moments.

Now, all these years later, you’d think I’d know something after wearing the  MOM badge for over twenty years, but three kids and a step-daughter, and I’m still learning. This piece from a child’s perspective hit at just the right time for me — funny how fate works it out that way sometimes — and I  thought it should be shared.

Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have asked for it.

I”m testing you. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it…. it makes me feel more secure.

Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk to me in private.

Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.

Don’t be too upset if I say “I hate you.” It isn’t that I hate you; I only need your attention.

Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn that way.

Don’t take too much notice of small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I want.

Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.

Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when they are broken.

Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I am not always accurate.

Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies.

Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose my faith in you.

Don’t put me off when I ask you questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.

Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to understand.

Don’t ever think it beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm to you.

Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me but please try.

Don’t forget that I love experimenting. I couldn’t get along without it, so please put up with it.

Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of love. But I don’t need to tell you that…. do I?

– Anonymous

June 15, 2011

A Work in Progress

Mokulua Islands, Kailua HawaiiFunny thing about travel. It’s changing how we see the world, and how we see ourselves.  When we set off to Australia almost two years ago, we didn’t really know what to expect. Truth be known, it was rather terrifying. Could we really carve out a new lifestyle, a new educational reality, a new normal for our family?

Two years later, we’re still answering those questions. This experience is changing us in ways we probably haven’t even realized yet. But we have learned a few things.

 

  • When it’s your passion — when you just know in your gut it’s the right thing to do — then you go do it. (Of course, our guts have also spoken to us — quite literally — from time to time throughout our adventure, but that’s another story and another post entirely.)
  • There is no right or wrong way to do extended family travel. You do what works for you and your family, and the other details somehow manage to fall into place. And if they don’t, well…they probably weren’t so important to begin with.
  • A roadschool classroom is absolutely magic. The lights are on, the brains kick-in, the energy is electrifying. Unless its math, or grammar, or some other godforsaken topic that would be sacrificed for a root canal on some days. From those days I’ve learned the real meaning and value of three words I never previously understood:  teacher work day.

And last but not least . . .

  • Blogging is harder than it looks.

Who knew I would be so hit-or-miss with a blog to chronicle our adventures! Like most of these projects, it started out as a way to stay connected and chronicle the experience. Then I ran headlong into the world of widgets and analytics and templates and text, not to mention erratic internet connections, tech glitches, and the periodic notion to give it up completely. (Besides, if a tree falls in the forest and no one . . . well, you get the point.)

But then I remembered the first thing we learned on this adventure: when it’s your passion, you just do it. Everything else will fall into place. In my case, there are three interwoven passions: my family, our travels and the written word. This blog embodies that. I just had to let the details work themselves out.

It’s with that mantra that I’m back home in Hawaii and reviving our blog with a new look, a new feel, and (hopefully) much more regular posts, updates, and information worth reading. Just as we’ve evolved and changed over the last two years, it’s time for this site to do the same. Like us, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks for giving me a second chance.