It's the beginning of a new school year, and I'd like to offer you a little encouragement that is yours for the taking or the ignoring -
The kids are alright, friends.
There is a lot of talk about helping our kids succeed, making sure they aren't "falling behind," and general anxiety about how well our kids will do in school.
But you know what? It's all made up. The kids are fine. No matter where they are at with their reading, spelling, or math, THEY ARE FINE. The benchmarks and standards are arbitrary, the anxiety, senseless. Who exactly are they falling behind? Who says every child needs to be at the same level or moving at the same pace? We KNOW life doesn't work that way, and yet we panic when our kids struggle in a system that is counterintuitive to the way we know life really operates. Our kids don't need us breathing down their necks about learning at a certain pace, they need us in their corner, reassuring them that they are fine. They are exactly who and where they need to be. Let's not wave the white flag just yet. Learning is a LIFE LONG experience. We would be fools to rush them and squash the innate spark of curiosity that will carry them on their learning journey.
Learning happens naturally. Maybe not on the timetable we would like. Maybe not to the extent that we prefer. But kids are made to learn and grow. Because kids are people. And people's capacity to grow is limitless. What they need is a constant voice reminding them that they aren't here to pass tests or meet standards. They are here to offer the world the gift of themself. The world will push back and say that they aren't enough or that they are too much or that they need to be different, better, smaller, bigger, faster, smarter. But as long as they have YOU, daily reminding them that everything is ok, then the rest will fall into place. Not that it will be easy or without struggle. Because we all know that isn't life. But anything can be faced when you know who you are and things are put into proper perspetive.
So moms & dads, let's take a deep breath and remind ourselves that our kids are just fine, so that when they wake up tomorrow, we can remind them, too.
A few more from our trip to the sunshine state.☀️ We saw family, we learned about pirates, we spent 7 days at the beach and pool, we ate a lot of food, I read one whole book cover to cover, and we ended our 11 day whirl wind by coming back home to a fun filled day of seeing family here in Ohio. It felt so good to be gone, even for just a little while, to put things in perspective and remember that life is so much bigger and more enjoyable than we often make it out to be.
+Theo wore his pirate hat every day of vacation, caught more fish than I can count, and spent most of his days in the ocean catching waves on his boogie board.
+Oliver learned to swim in the pool without his puddle jumper, made friends with every family on the beach, and ordered shraaaaamp (shrimp) at every meal.
+Bea was Bea. She was a wild woman who splashed and danced and sang every where she went. She loved being in the pool and the "big pool" (ocean).
+Montgomery wanted to be let loose in the ocean. He would crawl towards it as fast as he could, giggling all the way. Nursing him on our balcony that overlooked the ocean was a gift I'll always treasure.
+I went for 3 morning beach runs and held my husband's hand and was just so happy watching my family be happy. Mike took naps and played hard with the kids and reminded me in a million little ways that the reason why we have what we have now is because years ago, two people fell in love and have been waking up and saying YES to love and life and adventure every day since.
#family #vacation #floridagram #latergram #funinthesun #ameliaisland #beachlife #familyofsix #love #memorizingmotherhood #fourkids #summerlovin #makingmemories
We overdid it one day. Too much beach time. Too much pool time. Too much sun. By time we got to dinner, Montgomery was pretty cranky. He wouldn't stay in his high chair. For most of the meal, I stood over him and held him in his seat with one hand while I shoveled food into his mouth with my other. My meal sat untouched, getting cold.
I finally sat down to eat and a few minutes later, a woman who had been staring at us our whole meal walked over to Montgomery and without looking at us, picked up his sippy cup that had fallen on the floor and told him in a voice we could all hear, "Here you go baby. iiii noticed that you dropped your water." Then she glared at me as she walked back to her seat. She apparently thought I wasn't doing a good job that night. And you know what? I laughed. I seriously laughed. Because I was sweating through the meal that felt more like whack-a-mole than a nice dinner, and instead of seeing all I was doing she saw how I was failing. And I am honestly, 100% ok with that.
I've made an important decision to not see myself through the untrustworthy eyes of other people. They will always see me as too little or too much. I'm learning to see myself for who I am and then quietly and confidently offer that person to the world. I know opinions will be formed and judgements cast - and that is ok. Other people cannot be expected to make us feel whole or understood. The best we can do is understand that we are whole, and live from that truth, regardless of the reception.
[Photo captured by Oliver]
#motherhood #honestmotherhood #memorizingmotherhood #summer #familyvacation #growth identity #emotionalintelligence #confidence