Enlighten Me, parenting, The Write Life, Write Your Life, Writing Business, Writing life

Who is Julie Marie Wade?

 

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Brief Bio:

Funny you should ask…I just finished a book written by Dr. Julie Marie Wade…yes, Dr. She earned a PhD, teaches at Florida International University, is widely published, and took the time to attend the virtual book club of which I am a member. I feel like I’ve actually met her.

About her writing:

She is a poet, and so uses that language, word-play, imagery that the poet uses so well to write about abstractions and also the universal human experience…really, who hasn’t squeezed a zit? But who among us has equated our zits with semiotics?

Take that, multiply it by five thousand, add your mother to the equation and voila…you have a lyrical essay about Skin which grossed me out, brought tears to my eyes, made me think about symbolism, and filled me with compassion for the author and for all teenagers everywhere!

What is important about this? 

When you read the book…if you read the book…Small Fires, you will understand that it’s about parent-child relationships. In this case, tragic relationships because Julie no longer has one with her parents and I’m sad for them. Yes, for them.

As a parent, I can’t imagine my child doing anything that would cause me to abandon our relationship which isn’t to say there isn’t something out there somewhere, but I can’t conjure up that scenario. I’m not, nor have I ever been a perfect parent. There have been times that I’ve been so livid with my children that I could hardly be in the same room with them…I won’t go into the horrific details, but suffice it to say, the details that made me that angry probably would have been mildly annoying to someone else, and ignored by someone else…which is why I’m trying to stay open-minded about Julie’s parents.

It’s difficult.

So, help me out…

tell me what your child could do that would cause you to cut them out of your life completely. And help me understand how and why.

I really would like to know.

Add your comments and/or share this question with someone else who might be able to expand my consciousness.

 

 

Enlighten Me, parenting

Three Things I want to say to parents…

  1. God runs the world with 10 RULES…you don’t need more than FOUR to run your 4-year-old. Pick four values that are so critically important to you that you wouldn’t ever in a million years even contemplate de-valuing… or at least 4 values that are important in your life… whichever seems more realistic to you…those are the things to emphasize with your 4-year-old. If you think they’re going to tell the truth, share with their sister, say thank you 100% of the time, then you need to make an appointment with a therapist because that’s YOUR issue, not your child’s.
  2. Somewhere between 6 months and a year old, your baby thinks you’re PERFECT, GORGEOUS, BRILLIANT. Enjoy those five minutes. Write about it in your journal. Make a voice memo of how you felt, what you smelled, saw, heard…never, ever delete it because this is a once in a lifetime occurrence.  Then get over it because unless you’re Amal Clooney, you aren’t all those things. Don’t expect your child to be either. Your child is Perfectly Imperfect; Gorgeously Flawed; Smart Enough to push all your buttons.
  3. There is Faith, Charity, and Love but the Greatest of these is LOVE. That is still the truest thing in the world. Have faith that you will make mistakes and your child will still turn out fine as long as you love them unconditionally with all your heart. Be charitable with your encouragement, forgiveness, attention, guidance, love and your child will grow up confident, compassionate and productive. AND Love them for who they are even though they aren’t mini-you, for what they bring to the world and your life.

May you know and share love.

May you have and teach peace.

May you laugh well, eat well and sleep well.

May you make the most of each moment with your child.

May you love, love, and most importantly, love your children. 

That is my blessing on each of you.

Enlighten Me

Parenting

I’ve been thinking about parenting a LOT lately as I help my daughter and her husband with their 4-year-old. I’ve been thinking about it because of the 4-year-old, but also because of the 41-year-old with her right foot bandaged and elevated.

Parenting changes over the years as your child matures, but a parent’s need for their child to be safe, secure, healthy never goes away. It’s there from the moment you learn you’re pregnant till, I suppose, the moment you die…(I only suppose this because I don’t really know what happens after we leave this world…and that’s for another day.)

William Glasser, psychologist and author, identified 5 basic psychological needs for happiness: survival and safety, freedom, fun, power, love and belonging.  Dr. Nancy Buck, creator of Peaceful Parenting and a student of Dr. Glasser, says that a parent’s number one focus is survival and safety, while the child’s is fun. (Right away we can see why the parent/child relationship is frought with conflict.)

My daughter is 41 and Dr. Buck’s theory is still holding up in our relationship. She wanted to travel to Spain, rent a Vespa and explore one-lane mountain roads with her husband…she thought it would be FUN!

I look at the bloody scrapes on her elephant-sized ankle and think she could have had fun in some less broken-toes-sprained-ankle-stone-wall-abrasions sort of way.

When I extended my trip to help them while they are unable to: walk, drive, chase a 4-year-old, cook, feed a dog AND a rescued desert tortoise who lives in their backyard and was named Sky Scooter by aforementioned 4-year-old, my son-in-law said, “You didn’t sign up for this so you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.”

It only took me half a breath to realize that I DID sign up for this. I signed up the moment I decided to have a child. It’s an unbreakable lifetime contract…sort of like Queen of England but with a smaller house.

I signed up for it…and I’ve never had a moment’s regret.

Children are challenging. ALL children are CHALLENGING, not just yours…or if you’re one of THOSE parents…yes, yours too!

You know what else children are? Little bundles of joy, hope, laughter, sloppy kisses, and messy hands. They teach us that WE are not the center of the universe; THEY are!

Children are worth every second of worry, frustration and fatigue because they supply the energy that beats our hearts and ignites new synapses in our brains.

They do this at -0; at 4; at 41.  And all the years in between and after.

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