"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

parenting retreat and a family text book

Once school is back in, Newel and I love to sweep off to the mountains for a weekend. Vail is so pretty this time of year and it's full of families soaking in the last bits of summer.

We miss ours almost every minute and talk about them every step of the way.


We plan for the year, discuss each child's needs and how we will better fulfill them, directions for our family, parenting skill assessment, hopes for the future and ways to realize those dreams.

We just plan and I love it.

We hike the trails to the top of the ski resort mountain fully absorbed in our own conversation.

Stopping for a water break, a lady passed us and said she'd been trapped behind us for such a long time and was exhausted not from the climb, but from listening to our yammer.

We laughed and apologized but man, don't we feel like there are mountains to climb with our kids daily.

It's a rewarding weekend because not only do we come away relaxed but energized for the new year and ready to put plans in motion and reach our goals.

We also laughed that the tv show, "Survivor" was interviewing in the square. Sometimes it feels like we're living it cuz trust me … there's plenty to worry our hearts out over ;)

Newel had begun reading a book that has caught our attention like wildfire and we discussed it at length.

He ordered a bunch of them and gave the kids each a copy to read along with highlighters. The introduction tells of how Dwight D. Eisenhower's mother took ill when he was young and had to give instructions to her young son from her bed. He learned to care for himself independently and attributes those skills he learned to his successes in life.

We've turned that book into our nightly dinnertime conversation, taking a chapter a week to focus on and stretching those chapters longer as needed. A lot of it we've taught … or tried to teach … but needs repeating. Some of it we expound on and take deeper. Some of it needs application for both boys and girls.

Yeah. We've spent a lot of time on chapter one. It gets a review every week. It could be a book just in and of itself.

I love a mother's personal touch. But it's a difficult balance. To want to do but to do too much.

It is super hard to follow through when a child calls from school having been left by the sibling who drives the car because a coordinating plan wasn't made. "Figure it out," is hard to stand by.

But somehow, long before cell phones, our generation figured it out and mothers weren't always on call. I think we lived in fear of missing our next meal ;) 

The more I've stood by teaching them self reliance, the less I've had to fix … and it's been glorious .. and full of hard moments followed by proud moments watching them take ownership over their own situations as difficult as they may be.

Even though there are plenty of eye rolls when we ask them to bring their text books to the table for dinner, I'm in love with every chapter.

And can't wait to unfold each as we make sure every bird is prepared to fly. Now if only I could make the time fly just a little less quickly.

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