Thich Nhat Hanh shares an anecdote about how it is easy to be mindful in the monastery, yet hard on the streets. This hit close to home because I have been reflecting on how challenging it is to be an emotionally responsive parent. For the past couple of months life at home has been messy to say the least. Outside of the safe and controlled confines of Alphabet Academy, I’ve been struggling. When I’m rushing to leave home and pressuring my daughter to hurry, I can tell our connection is faltering but don’t want to be late again. When M is angry and demanding, yet I am feeling spent, I feel awful when I cannot remain unruffled. I know without a doubt how to be an emotionally responsive teacher, yet how does it translate into my home?
Last year my daughter was in a minor car accident with my parents. The next day as my husband and I drove her to school we approached the spot where the fender bender occurred. Her stream of chatter stopped. I took a deep breath to pause and listen. In that moment all of my past experiences with car accidents came to mind, the surprise, the loud noise of metal crunching into metal, glass breaking…I was ready to reassure her and offer her the emotional support that I could.
Mom just announced we were going to a new school, Alphabet Academy. There were no more packed lunches of the ONLY three things I would eat: plain penne pasta, kalbi (bbq Korean beef), and kkim (korean roasted and salted seaweed). And, on top of all that, there was salmon lasagna and kale on the menu at school. And there weren’t even any substitutions! I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad meal.
I think I’ll move to Cheshire.
I still remember the first time I felt the jolt from seeing what a computer could do. I was about nine or ten years old and my dad showed the MS-DOS text commands to make a “rocket ship” launch on the screen. Mind you, in the ‘80s this was cool stuff but any kid who saw it today would say, “Yeah, so?” We’ve certainly come a long way, baby.
Bedtime. Oh sweet bedtime. It sure can be the sweetest moment of the day. But. Have you ever met a 3 ½ year old that will do everything and anything to delay getting in bed? Ever seen one run around the house naked not wanting to get pajamas on? He wants that toy. She wants to get some milk. “Mommmmy, where are my bunny clouds?!” And now the boy child is hiding.