Posts tagged: parenting

The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short

IMG_2501As my son crossed the stage to receive his diploma I was reminded of this very true adage about parenting: some of the days really can be long but all of the years are most certainly short!

It is so important to keep this perspective. It’s so easy to slip into the frustrations of today or to overlook the gift each year of childhood brings.

Remember when they were learning to walk? Or the first time they experienced snow? Remember potty training? Or that art project they so proudly brought home for Mother’s Day? How about that year of learning to drive? That was a tricky time.

But how did this day arrive so quickly – the day my son is done with high school, and a few short weeks away from leaving for college?

We have traveled together from a baby, to a boy, to a teenager and now he’s a man. I wouldn’t trade one minute of the journey for anything – the good, the bad and the ugly are all precious to me because it has brought us here, together.

Here is a great video telling one woman’s discovery of this principle. What’s your perspective? Does this resonate with you?

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The Power of Signs

hawkI am a big believer in signs. Whenever I have something on my mind or I need to make a decision, I know there will be signs to help me. But the trick is knowing what to look for and then knowing what to do once you find them.

The thing about signs is they can come from anywhere. They can be small and subtle or very dramatic! It can be as simple as a song on the radio, a comment from a friend or an event that you witness.

Recently I was having an interaction with my 14 year old son. I wanted him to use his time over the long MLK weekend one way and he had a totally different agenda. He had some homework that was due on Tuesday and I wanted him to get it done early on and then have the rest of the weekend free. He wanted to plan out his whole time, decide how much time he needed to do the assignments and then work them in during blocks of time when there was no football on TV and/or no other friends to hang out with.

Needless to say, our different ideas about how he should spend his time created some very charged interactions. So early on in the weekend I was thinking about our relationship and wondering if my approach of wanting to micro-manage him was in fact the correct choice. It made me feel better but was it really the correct thing for him?

So I put it out to the Universe to help me understand which way to go with this situation and that I needed a sign to give me clarity. Not too long after that I did what I usally do when I need clarity and went for a walk. As I was walking through some wooded areas in my neighborhood I spotted a hawk at the top of a very tall tree. I noticed the hawk and went on, thinking nothing about it.

About 30 minutes later I looked up from my desk and saw that the hawk was right outside my back door, perched on my deck railing. There sat this big, beautiful bird right outside my window just looking at me. Once it had my attention it jumped down to the ground and allowed me to get within a few feet from it and then it soared away. It didn’t even hardly flap its powerful wings. It just glided away almost effortlessly.

Well, I was pretty sure that was the sign I’d asked for since I have never in my life seen a hawk up close and personal. And of course it did come right up to my back door just so I wouldn’t miss that the sign was meant for me.

So the question became, now what? What does this all mean for my dilemma? Well, the first thing I did was go to my signs book and look up the meaning of a hawk. Hawks are messengers, symbolizing the ability to take a big picture view. So, I had to ask myself, I am really serving us both with my decision to micro-manage my son’s time? If I take a big picture view what would that look like in this situation? If I step back and allow him the freedom to manage his own time, what’s the worst that could happen?

This self-reflection helped me take a different, more empowering tact for both of us. I gave him the list of what needed to be accomplished, the deadline it all had to be done by and the consequences of not meeting the deadline. Beyond that I told him he had complete control over how he spent his time and that I trusted in his success.

He rose to the occasion and had everything completed with 2 hours to spare. He worked out what he needed to do and what he wanted to do and figured out how to balance the two. My new stance took the pressure off me because I was using my mental energy to keep him on task and then when we were together I was directing his activities instead of enjoying his company.

Thanks to my hawk friend I know we both learned some valuable lessons. My son learned that I am able to trust him to be responsible and I learned that I need to be watchful for more opportunities that allow him to spread his wings and soar.

So look for signs in your life. They are there to help you find your way. The Universe is always lining everything up in your favor, you just need to be open to the messages.

Blessings,
Donna

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