I am busy reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing The Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, And Science” by Michael S. Schneider. This is a fabulous read, especially for those of you homeschooling fifth graders and up in the Waldorf tradition, where the child moves from movement and form drawing to freehand geometry into geometry with tools.
I was re-reading the first section of the book, on the circle and the number one, and came across this passage:
“Nothing exists without a center around which it revolves, whether the nucleus of an atom, the heart of our body, hearth of the home, capital of a nation, sun in the solar system, or black hole at the core of a galaxy. When the center does not hold, the entire affair collapses. An idea or conversation is considered “pointless” not because it leads nowhere but because it has no center holding it together.”
I think parenting is learning how to revolve around our center, and how to find our center again if we loose it. If our center is kindness, gentleness and self-control, then we have a center to return to in the moment (http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/01/23/a-guest-post-take-pause-with-the-10-x-7-rule/). We also then have a center to set our long-term vision around in terms of what drives the decisions in our family.
However, there is another very real and important reason to find our center: If what we do and say becomes the inner voice of our children as adults, why not practice now?
Say these critical things to your child:
You are so strong.
You are so helpful.
I love you.
I know you can do this.
I am proud of you.
More importantly, show your child that they belong in your family. That they make you laugh. That they make you happy and make you feel joyous. Give them a smile, a hug, a kiss. Tell them they are a precious treasure. Because they are.
And you are too. If you are feeling dragged down, and lower than low about your parenting, your mothering, your life, please fight against those thoughts. Some of the Early Church fathers had an idea about thoughts such as these; they called them logismi in Greek. Thoughts that are not beautiful or joyous , helpful or kind are not from the Divine Source. Don’t let them take you over. Don’t wallow in them.
Find your center, find your joy again. Work is a huge help in this. Meaningful work for ourselves, our children. A huge part of the Waldorf curriculum, outside of the art and the movement, is work. Within Waldorf homeschooling, we learn practical skills, we learn how to do things with our hands to help our family and to help our neighbor.
Find your center of kindness. Your children can help you work and nurture your home, they can work and help make something for a member of your community who needs it.
You are so strong.
You are so kind.
You are such a good mother.
You make great decisions for your family.
You bring joy to those around you.