For the first two-thirds of my life, I met every challenge through books. Books entertained me, informed me, challenged me, comforted me. If I had a problem, I hit the library and found an answer without much trouble. Then I became a parent. Now there are many, many, books on just about any parenting challenge you can name. My own shelves have boasted books on miscarriage, adoption, and pregnancy, on ADHD, auditory processing and sensory issues, on public schools and homeschooling, and on methods for raising (insert your favorite adjective here) children. And while those books have been helpful, none of them has been the manual I was hoping to find. My husband and I have had to wing it quite a bit.
One of my grad school professors said that we can learn a lot from our experiences. However, if we fail to reflect on those experiences all the learning will be lost. With four children, I am going in four different directions nearly all the time. At least once a day, something profound happens that makes me stop in my tracks for a moment. Sadly, I rarely stop to reflect, and a lot of learning has been lost. I hope to use this blog to stop and reflect. What did I learn today from my kids? Did I give a lecture to one of them that I really need to listen to myself? Is my job as a parent just to educate and guide my kids or to also become a better person myself?
Like all good students, I'll still be consulting the books, doing some research, listening to lectures, and testing hypotheses on my test subjects. But now, I am going to start taking notes. Want to join the class? There are lessons in every moment, if you just pause to reflect and pull out your pen.