Saturday, October 4, 2014

Motherhood is a sacred dance; a second chance to see purity within

We are caretakers, matchmakers, lovers and creators; we accomplish so much as mothers. But we are also prone to being "super" mothers; women who take care of everyone and everything. There was a time when I believed in choosing that path but it burned me out and I had to find a new way of mothering. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to show them that we can indeed be unsure, or hurting or even emotional. Growing a tiny human being in pregnancy and then growing that same child as a mother is one of the most misunderstood, yet amazing feats ever taken. I have caught myself feeling overwhelmed at the prospect before me; a wave of doubt in my capabilities as a mother. I've been told many times that I'm a wonderful mother, that my children reflect a peace about them but I have still felt unsure and still do at times.

It has been easy most days but harder on others, along the way I felt the need to hide my tears; I'm not supposed to cry about this! But there were moments that I did, especially when I couldn't find the answers. I realized that the best thing I could do was allow my children to see me cry or allow them to hear me say, "I don't know."When we reveal that vulnerable side of ourselves to our children, they can feel the genuine connection with us even more. After all, don't children readily express their emotions with us? Sadness, anger, fear and happiness whenever they feel it coming? I can honestly say that my children have seen me grieve, cry, and laugh plenty of hearty belly laughs from the pit of my soul. They have even seen me scared; scared of the unknown...They do know and sense that protective lioness energy in their mama but they also know that I have been weak. We are truly stronger than we know, but the truth is that we thrive so much better when we have a sense of community as mothers. It is so important for us to nurture each other on this path.

The dance of motherhood is a sacred dance; we see our children through many stages in life while we are also going through our own unique stages. We are amazing creatures to be able to balance all of that and more; it is undoubtedly what makes us so strong. To all mothers, I salute YOU.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Happy Ending to the story of "Wind"

So about a month ago I made a video about a Great Blue Heron in my neighborhood who had a crippling encounter with some fishing line. My girls and I love being outside and we always have, so one day we noticed "Wind" the name my girls gave to the heron, flying overhead with something attached to her legs. This was almost three months ago and we decided that we would get a closer look when we could see her standing near the lake behind our home. Sure enough, she had some twine wrapped around her long legs that was preventing her from standing on both feet and most likely disabling her fishing techniques. We were quite familiar with her as she has been coming to fish near our home for a few years now and we felt very sad and helpless when we saw her in this condition. So, we decided to call the South Florida Wildlife Center to let them know about this beautiful bird. At first we were told that if she could still fly, then she was okay and still able to fish, but to call back if she appeared to be getting weak. Apparently, I had not been the only person who had called about her as they informed me that someone else had taken note of her unfortunate situation. They said that she would most likely fly away if an attempt was made to catch her. Well, days turned into weeks and someone from the Wildlife center did indeed come out to try and catch her, they saw me feeding her bread just a few feet away but when she sensed the worker nearby she kept flying away. I tried to mentally connect with her and let her know that he only wanted to help her, but she was not having it. My girls were insistent on helping her and rightly so for she was becoming weaker and more desperate to catch fish, but she still came over to eat the bread we threw out onto the lake for the ducks every week. We watched her like a hawk and sure enough, her legs became weaker from the twine being so embedded in her them. We knew we had to do something when we saw her falling into the lake and looking like a large duck just floating in the water. Wind felt very comfortable around us and would allow us to be only steps away from her as she ate the bread we gave to her. It made us happy that she was eating something as we knew she probably wasn't catching much fish if any. We knew she needed help though and we called again for someone to come out to rescue her since her condition seemed to be getting worse. This past Friday we had a knock on our door and we all stood there in amazement as we looked on to the man who had tried to catch Wind before but now finally had her in his arms!

 Another worker stood next to him and showed us a baggie with the fishing twine inside of it, finally cut away from her legs. Me and my girls were so very happy and we thanked the guys for their successful rescue. I actually breathed a sigh of relief, I was so thankful. They told us that they used fish to lure her to them and she seemed so ravenous for the fish that it was not very hard this time to catch her. I was thinking of how she must have been feeling; confused, yet maybe happy that her legs were free now. They asked us if we wanted to touch her and we did; her feathers were so soft and her large eyes were fixed on us. We told her she would be okay now and that we were so happy for her...I was very worried about her legs, and they told us they would do everything they could to help her. I called the next day, hoping for good news and they informed me that Wind was doing well after her legs had been cleaned, bandaged and she had been given antibiotics. They also shared with us that they would most likely return her to the lake behind our home after she heals up. I felt so good inside and shared the news with my girls. We all have soft spots for animals, I always have, since I was a girl. I remember rescuing all types of animals, some successful, others not always, but I see that same love in the hearts of my children for all of the Earth's inhabitants. And what a gift of the Spirit it truly is when we can feel compassion for those who have no voice but depend on us sometime to help them.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A video blog of this beautiful great blue heron

We have been seeing this great blue heron almost every day near our home and recently we noticed that she had fishing line wrapped around her legs, causing quite a bit of difficulty for her to move properly when she fishes. One of her legs is stuck inside of the twine rendering her unable to fully stand on both feet. I have called to see if we can get some help to her...just wanted to share.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Communication is a beautiful art

I find that when I talk to my kids and really listen with intent to what they have to say, I am able to have a closer relationship with them. I really love hearing their thoughts and what they feel is important in their world, it seems to make a big difference in their self esteem. I make sure my phone is out of reach for a bit, the t.v. is off and we are in a comfortable space for them to share their feelings with me. I was a child once and I remember how good it felt when I was listened to and not brushed off. I feel like I am setting the stage for the teenage years; if I talk to them now and expect us to have healthy communication patterns, perhaps it will be something they will continue as they get older. I would love for that to happen, even if they don't tell me everything they are experiencing, the gist of this practice will instill in them that they can come to me no matter what. I often learn a thing or two when communicating with my kids and believe me, they do take notice! The older my children get, the more imperative it is for me to make that connection with them. Things are different, they don't always volunteer to share every waking minute of their lives with me like they did when they were just learning how to speak. I have to make the first move sometimes when we talk, and I have to show them that I am deeply interested in what they have to express to me. I treasure our moments when we share a laugh or our opinions together, it is meaningful indeed. Perhaps I will get the scoop on their school day or be able to put myself in their shoes about an event that stuck with them when we have heart to hearts. Either way, they will know that what they have to say matters.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sushi anyone?

So Friday afternoon brought some smiles to the faces of my girls being that we were going into the weekend. I usually do smoothies, fresh juices or find a recipe for a quick but filling snack to hold us all until dinner time after school when they get home. Last week's grocery shopping trip entailed getting ingredients to make sushi at home but I didn't even remember to get a sushi mat! I finally ended up grabbing one and decided that we would make our own little recipe. I was becoming excited as I prepared the sticky sushi rice, pulled out my nori sheets and chopped up veggies to go inside of our rolls. I chopped up avocado, carrots, green onion and celery for the filling. There were easy to follow directions folded up inside of the package that contained the bamboo rolling mat. I called the girls down to help me and they were quite interested in how everything would turn out. They helped me to assemble the ingredients onto the seaweed and we rolled it all into a perfect log which we place on the cutting board to be cut into sections. We were so excited to try it!! We grabbed some organic, gluten free tamari and sprinkled a little on a dish for dipping. We also sprinkled some sesame seeds onto the rolls before we dug in. I was wishing I had some wasabi paste and pickled ginger to accompany the sushi but didn't dwell on it too much, I would have been the only one eating it anyway...We all tried some of our creation and the smiles and eyes widening told me all that I needed to know! It was a success! I couldn't help but share with the girls that they all of a sudden liked veggies that they told me they weren't too crazy about in the sushi. They didn't think much of it but I was happy about making sushi a signature snack here and there. Especially a snack that they can enjoy as much of as they want to because it's so darn healthy! They commented on how cool the rolls looked; "just like in restaurants" were their exact words. Bow and curtsy for that one. I love thinking of new things to try out with the girls when we cook; variety is the spice of life! Needless to say, we didn't leave any leftovers...until next time!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The song Mamas sing

Taking an active part in communicating with my children is of utmost importance to me. I like knowing that my children come to me to share their thoughts and how they view life. While I knew I could come to my mother about this or that, I didn't really have too many heart to hearts with her until I became a mother myself.  My mother and I are from two different eras, I was a late 70's baby and she was a 30's baby so there was definitely a difference in how we approached motherhood.  I gleaned much in how my mother raised me; I took a little from her and infused it with my own unique ideals.

There is a balance to how I approach parenting, I'm not too strict, but I'm also not too open. I don't believe in allowing my kids to make decisions for themselves that they may not be mature enough to handle yet. I also don't believe in "sugar coating" the difficult moments in life. I let them know that it's okay to be angry, sad, silly and most importantly themselves. I let them know that "real" friends will always accept them for who and what they are.  It is a bittersweet moment for me; to see my young ones change year after year, month after month and day after day. They have opinions now and a lot of them! When talking to my children, I really find out so much about life. 

 When looking at the books they are reading or listening to songs they like to listen to, I ask questions. I ask them what it is that they like about what they are taking in. I let them know that what they decide to embrace should resonate with who they are. Yes, they are children but I believe in teaching them early on that every decision they make should make sense to them. Basically, think first, act second! Of course, emergencies call for immediate action, but for the most part, they get the gist of what I am saying. 
 I like when we read chapter books together or when we watch a movie together and talk about it afterward. I love seeing them smile and have fun, alone or with their friends. I am able to see a different side of them, and hear more of what makes them so unique.

 Being a mother has been one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in my lifetime. I go through days of wondering; am I doing this mothering thing as best as I could be? Have I dotted all my i's and crossed my T's? This year will be milestones for my babies, one will be going into double digits and the other will become a teenager. I am in utter shock at how fast time flies, I swear I was just changing diapers and reading board books to two little people snuggled in my lap! We still have our special times together, doing things that are geared toward their interests and it helps, it makes our connection stronger. I think the fact that they know I am willingly present in their lives creates the security that they need to grow into strong young women. I only hope that my girls will continue to come to me and share their deepest thoughts and dreams.