These little guys are headed to the kiln today for their first firing. The downside of being part of this pottery workshop is that my kiln-firing schedule is at the mercy of others. I have no real say over when my things get fired, especially when the things I’m firing are so tiny and not worthy of their own firing in a big kiln. One of these days, I’m going to get myself a tiny little kiln and start working from home. One of these days…for now, I’m just happy to have clay in my hands again.
Over the weekend, Ms.CampCreek and I were discussing my experiences with Emma and her observational drawing lesson. If there is one word to describe Emma it is independent. (well, actually I might describe her as determined first, but independent is a close second). Lori and I were talking about how we strive for our children to be independent, to be able to do things on their own. But in the next breath, we’re requiring them to do things "our way". It’s that fine line–figure this out on your own, see if you can do that by yourself….no, you need to do this MY way!
I think I felt that imbalance last week, when I myself was feeling a bit frazzled. I’ve noticed that when Emma senses my stress, she gets into independent mode–make my own breakfast, clean my rubber boots in the bathroom sink, get out the paints by myself, etc. And in return, I become more frazzled because sometimes her independent outbursts leave a wake of confusion and mess. I heard myself saying over and over last week, "would you please just ask for my help?? That is what I’m here for!" Yet at other times, I’m the one pushing her to do things on her own–sometimes even those same things I just told her to do only with my help. "Emma, you can pour your cereal by yourself."
Does that make any sense?
Her independent spirit is bittersweet when it comes to home schooling. In one sense, she’s completely driven. She’ll figure things out on her own. Start things on her own. And work until she finds a solution. On the other hand, if I want to sit down and actually instruct her (heaven forbid!), she interrupts with a hand on my arm and a, "But mommy, what if we tried to do it this way?"
Parenting. It’s all about give and take. Adjusting. Finding balance. Seeing each child for who they are. Finding their gifts and talents and encouraging them. It’s also about guiding and instructing and disciplining. Now if I could just figure out how to do all those things, and do them well.
******And I almost forgot! Check out the wonderful treats we received from our miniswap partners: