September

September has always been the most powerful month in my life.

My father died when I was twenty toward the end of September- and I will never forget the feeling in the cool Maine air that week before he passed. It was as if he was joining the gentle fall of the leaves as our tears fell too and we wept to let him go. Everything was still and quiet when we said our goodbyes and I knew then that he would always be with me, and that goodbyes are not forever.

After College graduation I spent the month of September driving cross country roads with Irish Paul and under the big sky’s and over the badlands which added such expansion to my world, and my heart. Each exploration of National Forest and Coast filled my being with wonder while the radio blared REM and open windows blew it’s cool dry breathe in our faces leaving echoes of laughter in our wake.

My honeymoon was in September and I spent almost four weeks in gentle Bali meeting people who were filled with love and service. Traveling through the mountains of Ubud on married feet visiting communes of artists and the rural beauty of expansive villages. I was there September 11th when the World Trade Center fell and the people of Indonesia looked at my American face with eyes of grief telling me they were sorry for “my people.”  I learned then how very connected we all are.

My daughter was born September 12th one year later and I will never forget when they lay her on my chest that evening and I felt her – skin to skin, and touched each tiny part of her drinking her in. My heart expanded and life became something different then. Each year we celebrate her life in ours… this year she is nine.

I spent a month in Italy with my little family the year after my daughters birth and we walked September streets in Florence and learned to take our time each day just enjoying the feast of every visual, and food that had never tasted so good. We drove each day to a new adventure with our little one in tow and so happy we were that month in Luca, Rome, Venice, and mountain towns… the happiest until

Ten years later in September my deepest understanding of Love yet and it’s power to heal….

In September the hot summers cool into beautiful passages of fall, and my children return to school.  September is like the New Year for mothers who’ve managed to shake the last sand from salty towels and who’ve cut the final wedges of cooling watermelon.

September.
September.

Beautiful September.

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Over the Rainbow Bridge: Summer Vacation

Yesterday I attended my son’s last day of school for summer vacation and I wanted to share these precious photographs.

Both of my kids go to a Waldorf School.  I am a huge advocate- not because I think it’s THE way, but because it totally works for myself and my family.

I wanted the next best thing to homeschooling, and I wanted a kind, nurturing, and conscientious atmosphere that they would spend the next eight-ten years of their life in. I love the philosophy which you can read about here, and I am incredibly moved and inspired by the children who graduate from Waldorf Education.  I’ve decided to try to write a little series about why i love Waldorf so I will try to post those in the coming weeks/months.

Yesterday I got to participate in the “Rainbow Bridge” ceremony for those who will cross over into the first grade so Shaw was saying goodbye to many of his good friends that he spent the year with (Shaw will still be in Kindergarten next year because he is not yet of age to enter the first grade).  If you are interested in the Rhode Island Waldorf School and want to know more you can visit their website and blog  ( where at the top of the page you can read an article I wrote about my own experience in a Waldorf School while growing up in Michigan).

I CAN’T believe it’s SUMMER VACATION ALREADY!!!!

Preparing the rainbow bridge

Shaw "working" through play... his favorite thing to do!

The Boys

Five Tips on Discipline

Last night I attended a parent gathering at school to discuss “discipline” at home – a subject I find both fascinating and haunting.   Fascinating because It’s something I’d love to be better at, and haunting because of what i’ve stooped to thus far. Sometimes I forget that the goal NOW is to parent in such a way that the RESULT is that my children are well adjusted, compassionate & competent adults.

Here are a few things I learned I learned last night….

1) Sitting on my small child’s chest while yelling “who’s da man?” is only going to cause resentment and require a hefty investment in psychotherapy later in life ( yes, I’m ashamed to admit, he has pushed me this far)

2) Negotiating with your child is a bad habit and if you do it – you teach a child NOT to accept your limits. Most of the time there is NOTHING to negotiate.

3) Stop making empty threats: you will lose your power and your credibility.  Have a few rules and enforce them regularly with realistic consequences that actually work  (I remember i once took away Halloween like three times before we went out trick or treating! )

4) Discipline *as much as possible using natural consequences: for instance ; If dinner is served and your child makes the choice not to eat it, he or she will go to bed hungry.  Choosing NOT to eat the dinner causes the consequence of going to bed hungry.  It’s a guarantee this behavior will not persist for very long and your child will stop fussing when you put dinner on the table ( imagine? – this is going to be a hard one for me)  This does not mean, however that you allow your child to go outside without a coat and become cold if they so choose, but instead a natural consequence might be that they lose out on another privilege that might be important to them or that they be required to sit by themselves inside while everyone else play outdoors.

5) Your child is not your friend.   Children need a competent adult who loves them without strings attached. When you try to be their best friend you rob them of their parent.  Don’t make this mistake.

No matter what – discipline with consistency ( not consistently inconsistant) so that your child has a firm understanding of what his or her limits are. This also allows them the opportunity to self regulate later in life when you are not around.