Monday, May 17, 2010

Swapping Roles

Sometimes I'm not sure who is the wisest in this Mother/Son game... hoot hoot...
“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” - Peter de Vries
I was having an online chat with my friend Juliette today, she always inspires me – she home-schools her son, runs an inspirational book store and is soon to go to America to do a workshop based upon ‘Nurturing Spirituality in Children’, with author of said book, Peggy Joy Jenkins.
She is so excited about this her words danced off the screen and did a square dance in my lounge room!
I confessed to Juliette that I was struggling to nurture the spirituality in Monte, though I desperately wish I could.
By that I mean  I want to nurture what is natural and authentic about him before modern and pop culture influence him to such a degree that he starts to lose sight of the very soul that he is, now.
The last couple of days have been challenging to say the least.
I’m not sure whether it’s because Monte has entered a new phase of independence or if I am just losing the plot or a combination of the two but suffice it to say mayhem has a new address.
Every new phase Monte enters, I enter one as well.
Traditionally, you think of raising the child as the parent teaching all they know to this innocent little being, and it is the parent that is all wise and knowing- but it is the opposite, my God it is the opposite.
I am the student and Monte is the teacher, massively.
In the last couple of days Monte has really been focusing on areas I need to develop: Patience and presence of mind.
To teach me these tough lessons he has come up with some really creative techniques.
1) Running around house with enormous knife from the dishwasher
2) Climbing onto Dining Table and standing up on it laughing
3) Eating a crayon
4) Using a pencil to eat an apple
5) Smudging yogurt on the couch
6) Screaming like he is auditioning for the Exorcist when I take something away from him or put him in the car, or … want him to go back to sleep at 5am.
So far, I have failed both my exams and my assignments in patience. In fact, I got a big fat D and a little note saying “You really need to cultivate presence of mind and patience, while Monte teaches you about these things, you are simultaneously teaching him through your reactions. See if you can rework them”
Since getting my D yesterday, of course, I have done what all failing Mothers do – berate themselves with the “I’m no good as a Mother,” “Why did I react how I did?” “I’m a horrible person” and yes, there have been some tears shed and some arms flung into the air with “I don’t know how to do this!”
But, thanks to Juliette and that fabulous quote she sent my way just when I needed it – I have looked for the lessons from Monte.
I am onto him, I am going to do a right back at ya lesson and show him that I can be patient, I can be present (and I can put the knives somewhere out of his reach).
I am going to be grateful that he has shone a light on areas that need improving and I am going to rise to the challenge by consciously improving them.
Sure, I could keep my arms flung in the air and keep the mantra ” I am no good at this” or I can embrace the challenge and cultivate what needs cultivating.
If I can pull this together and turn my impatience into patience and my non-presence into presence – I will be able to look Monte in the eye and confidently say “So, who is the teacher now?”

For more Sharnanigans please visit my website 

1 comment:

Deb said...

What a great post. I have been a teacher for 9 years so I know first-hand that children inadvertently teach us more on most days than we are likely to teach them! Good on you for being open to learning...count to 10, take a deep breath and go and get that knife back!