How it all came to be…this Vision:
It started out as an advice thing…’Dear Idie’, but that wasn’t ‘it’. Then it was going to be ‘Moms Helping Moms’, but there were dads who wanted in. A little voice told me to share some stories and inspiration that will propel the future of our children into ‘being kind to one another’ as Ellen DeGeneres says at the end of every show. Kind, and responsible and independent, too. These kids are going to be looking after us one day.
Every child that enters this world has the potential to make a profound impact on the lives of others. What children learn from us will impact what they teach to those who come after. I grew up knowing many joyous people and many who struggled. The timing of certain role models in my life had a major impact on who I am today.
I am a Reading Recovery teacher. The success of Reading Recovery Program (TM) is in the individually designed lessons for each student. The most important lesson I can take from my training in this role is that we must have a vision for our kids. With this vision in mind we must be thinking about how much time we have, and what kinds of things need to be put in place for that vision to become a reality. While the end goal may be similar, the path for each child will likely be very different. Flexibility within structure…
I started off as the energetic twenty-six year old type-A mom obsessively reading What to Expect The First Year and What to Expect The Toddler Years (Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway) and quickly learned that babies and toddlers don’t allow time for focused reading, and that there seemed to be more situations than my library of carefully selected parenting books could ever cover. Perfectionism didn’t work with parenting and it ticked me off!
Thankfully, my husband had a great sense of humour, we had a number of helpful family members and friends and neighbours were great support.
I was a special education teacher when our kids were little, so along with teaching students in many grades, I regularly conferenced with speech/ language and behaviour consultants, psychologists and an occupational therapist. Having taught kindergarten, I was prepared for separation anxiety, teaching preschool routines and packing healthy nut-free snacks. I definitely started this motherhood journey overconfident. It was a hard fall!
I have been humbled. At each twist and turn, from projectile vomiting, colic, tantrums, high drama, school ‘situations’, injuries, illnesses, double rows of teeth, dental surgery, stitches, and now adolescent angst - humbled. So I continue to turn to the parenting and inspirational books, the professionals, Oprah’s Lifeclass and past guests and to you, my friends. You who are living on this roller-coaster right along with me. “It takes a village to raise a child” according to a Nigerian proverb.
Welcome to the village.