Archive for the ‘Week 12: Celebrate’ category

By the way

June 25, 2009

I wanted to mention that today Fenner earned back the privilege of seeing her friends. No yelling, hitting, kicking, or name-calling for three weeks! And also today, Ellen had a long argument with Charlotte, and neither of them raised their voices the entire time. At one point, Ellen’s frustration got to be too much and she excused herself and went outside and screamed at the trees. This made Charlotte giggle, and the argument was soon over.

And as if that wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, I also did some photo organizing today, and was reminded of a hundred more reasons:

Not goodbye

June 24, 2009

Jerry: “Charlotte, those are bright colors. How did you choose all those colors?”

Charlotte: “I love where we live, and I love sharing it with my family.”

Fenner: “I appreciate mom because she helps me through all my problems.”

Ellen: “I made macaroni and cheese!”

Me, singing Hannah Montana after Ellen spilled her entire bowl of macaroni and cheese all over the floor: “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what, what I’m talkin’ ’bout, everybody gets that way …”

These quotes are all just from today, and each one is a reason to celebrate. Each one represents a profound shift away from where we were twelve weeks ago when we started this journey.

Vicki guided her own family toward “radical faith” as she calls it, and somehow she was able to gift that to me too. When I took her class, I felt a kind of radical faith in her approach. It fit me. It was what I had been looking for. Thoughtful, rational, reasonable, kind, loving, and effective — and super-structured.

My friends who follow this blog wonder how I did it. How did I find the strength to stick with it? Because, although this was hard, the alternative was so much harder. Twelve weeks ago we were in a slow downward spiral. I could feel it everyday. I felt helpless, and there was no way I was going back to that.

Plus, in just one day, Vicki served up a big, fat awareness sandwich. For me at least, awareness grabs hold of my brain and doesn’t let go. Once I have it, I cannot ignore it. At that point, I had no choice but to follow through.

And now here we are. We’ve finished the 12-week course, but, as they say at many graduations, this is only the beginning.

Jerry must feel that too. He came home from work today and said, “I listened to disc one in the car. … It was a good review of say nothing, do nothing.”

Yeah, I remember that…

ps Anyway, this can’t be the end. After our vacation, I have to tell you how it goes with introducing contributions and problem solving at family meeting! (Plus any other juicy tidbits along the way.)

So — I’ll be back!


June 23, 2009

Fenner actually asked me just the other day, without any prompting, “Mom, how are we going to celebrate finishing the parenting class?…Will you buy me an iPod Touch?” “How about we go to North Carolina for a family vacation?” I teased. (We’re leaving for that trip this Saturday.) “Mooooom, we’re already doing that!” “Yes, and I can’t wait!”

She’s right though, we should celebrate in other ways too. As Vicki says, we should celebrate every single day and congratulate ourselves and each other for choosing again to participate in this difficult thing called life.

And it is difficult. We get out of bed each morning having no idea what’s going to be thrown at us that day. Will today go as we hope? As we planned? Maybe, maybe not. But now, armed with all this new knowledge, I have a much better chance of having a lot to celebrate no matter what happens. Now, when things go terribly wrong, I can stop and think and reach down inside and even find a way to be grateful that it’s not going according to plan, grateful for another opportunity to think and grow and change, grateful that my children are not robots who do everything my way.

Needless to say, the changes in our family over these past 12 weeks have been extraordinary. We have endless cause for celebration, and I will be reflecting on that this week…