"How we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." (Peggy O'Mara)
This simple block with a rope attached has been my children's toy I-Pod since Forrest was a toddler. Sign of the times, isn't it? This is entirely from imitating people they see when we go to town twice a month. The game is to walk around with it hooked over your ear and to stare off into space (I'm not kidding!)
Papa pracitising his ropes work for his final level of Mountain Guide's exams in the spring.
It is astonishing to me how the weather can turn so dramatically...just when I thought that this may be the mildest winter in our area we've experienced, the temperatures plummeted. It is so cold here that I'm making a few trips to the chicken coop each day to exchange fresh water for frozen. The snow squeaks beneath my boots and the air is so cold it burns my nostrils. This is the kind of weather that makes you feel alive.
We have had a more home-centred week with our days filled with a good amount of school activities, and more time for reflecting around the fire as we knit, read books, and listen to Forrest practice his guitar.
Sunshine discovered a treasure in Papa's shop and plunked herself down in the snow to sort through some "junk" that was about to be thrown away ~ she was thrilled!
When I go to bed at night, I find myself thinking the day over and replaying certain scenes in my head. This week, I have noticed I tend to focus a lot on the things I could have done better, the things I wish I had said instead, the atmosphere I have inadvertently created. And usually I will make promises to myself to do better, to behave better, to mother better...to BE better.
And this week, I made efforts to change my patterns. While it is good to reflect and be aware of my choices and words and behaviours...I need to also be kind to myself. So I began choosing a few good things about my parenting that I noticed in that day, to sandwich on either end of those less than stellar moments. "Sunny was so polite to the lady at the grocery store...she has learned such good manners." "Forrest felt so proud of himself when he understood that math problem we worked on together." "Huckley has learned to share his toys so well with Sunny, he didn't want her to feel sad."
And part of this, is speaking these out loud, in the moment for all of us to notice. Because there are so many good moments...the majority are good, by a long shot. And yes, there are improvements I could make, and I want to make, but I also don't want to forget how much goodness each day held.
I think what Peggy O'Mara wrote above also extends to us individually, as well. How we reflect on ourselves becomes our inner voice. So for those end-of-the-day conversations in my head, I will be sure to add a few good things in there, too.