The Radical Act of Bearing Witness

This weekend is Hamilton’s James Street Supercrawl which is a fabulous annual street festival to promote music, art, dance and culture in Hamilton’s north end.

SupercrawlMichael is two weeks into grade 7 and is right back into the swing of his social life after a fairly quiet summer. He has been out every day after school this week until at least 5:30 and is enjoying the freedom and fun of friends. After a quick check-in after school yesterday we didn’t see him until well into the evening (and even then, he was texting his friends while playing on the Xbox).

When Michael arrived home last night, he announced plans they had all made to go to Supercrawl this afternoon. My initial reaction was one of those non-committal parental responses that is so annoying to the child; ‘we’ll see‘. Michael told me that Max had been allowed to go out with his friends to Supercrawl in grade 7, so why shouldn’t he?

Michael knows me well enough to drop the subject and to give me time to think. And, it was after 8:00pm!

By the time I went to bed last night I had given it some thought and (pending Simon’s agreement) had decided that there was absolutely no reason that Michael should not be allowed to go down to Supercrawl today. It will be broad daylight, he will be in a huge throng of people (lots of them friends and neighbours), and in a big group of friends. He also has a phone and could reach us at any time.

Nervous MotherAnd so, a few minutes ago, I dropped him in the north end.

As Michael was getting out of the car, my stomach started to tighten with the angst of letting my baby boy take yet another step farther away and I found myself getting a little fluttery. To cover my nervousness I started firing ridiculous safety tips at him; ‘don’t get separated from the group’, ‘if anything happens I can be there in 5 minutes’, ‘don’t eat anything you are not sure of’.

My parting safety pearl was that I would wait in the car until he texted me that he had made contact with his friends and to call if anything happened. Michael gave me an adorable grin complete with eye-rolling and said; ‘mom, I’m in grade 7, I have a phone and I’m fine.” I agreed that I was being a little over protective and a tad nervous. He gave me an awkward hug and a big kiss through the window of the car and turned to walk away.

He did turn back once to give me a little wave and my heart broke with love for him.

I will admit that I watched Michael until he rounded the corner. And as I drove home I reflected on the Radical act of bearing witness to my children growing up and learning to fly on their own. There is absolutely no rational piece of me that wants to hold them back. However, there is that little corner of my heart that wants to wrap them all up and keep them close like a fierce and protective mother bear.

I must say, though, that there is nothing quite so adorable as watching your child walk away from you with a spring in his step and the heady feeling of freedom bursting in his heart.

Go, Michael, go! :)quotes-thich-nhat-hanh-02-600x411

Closed for Business

Early BirdYou parents will love this one…

I love mornings. My energy is high and I am bright and alert. My very best work is done early in the morning and, in terms of productivity, I can probably accomplish a full day’s work between the hours of 4:00am and 6:30am.

Tired BirdThe other end of the spectrum is the evening. I am tired, completely drained of energy and cannot make decisions (even chocolate or vanilla could send me into a tailspin…!!!)

Part of being the parent of three children is the hours of administrative work every week. Trip forms, party RSVPs, money conversations, play date arrangements, agenda signing, homework.

The list goes on.

Calling MomOne of the things I find the most challenging about parenting is those just-before-bed surprises; “Oh mom, I have a 20 page trip form for you to sign”, “Oh mom, I told Jacob’s mom you would call her tonight”, “Oh mom, I need money for my lunch tomorrow”, “Oh mom, I have an assignment due tomorrow”, “oh mom, I’ve got a wart on my foot that’s been there for six months”, “Oh mom, we are supposed to wear a costume to school tomorrow.”

It took me many years of parenting before I realized that I actually cannot deal with these nighttime demands. And so, I have let my family know, in no uncertain terms, that I am ‘Closed for Business’ after 8:00pm. So now when one of the kids approaches me in the evening, I don’t even have to say anything. I just look at the clock and they sigh deeply and walk away.

I have also made it clear that I will be ‘Open for Business’ again the next morning as early as 5:00am and that they are welcome to float their request or demand at that time.

Funny though, none of them have ever taken me up on it! :)Closed for Business

Tanis

My extraordinary for today is my dear friend Tanis.

Heart HandsTanis describes herself and her work in her Twitter handle as; Humorous Spiritual Teacher, Healer, Mother and Friend. Attain spiritual and personal mastery thru energy awareness!

I spent 90 wonderful minutes with Tanis this afternoon and I just have to say…personal mastery through energy awareness really knocks my socks off!

Thank you Tanis. For your heart, your warmth, your love, your wisdom, your generosity and for holding me with such fierce tenderness.

For everything!

I love you! xo:)