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Holding On

I finished Hold Onto Your Kids today.  It me the full two weeks to get through it.  Lots of busy-ness around here in the early Spring.  I think this is the year I have come to accept it, or at least, truly acknowledge it.  I've been working on a fishing line fence (yes, a fence of fishing line) that goes around most of our yard.  It will keep the deer out and maybe, just maybe, keep Laurel in.  They ate nearly every green thing last year and it was so frustrating.  I'm having fun with a homemade fence post putter-inner that an elderly cousin made many years ago.  I'm also chasing the sun to dry laundry outside.  That, along with the normal work of running a home, has consumed most of my time.

Foggy FieldI don't know that I have read a book that prompted so much reflection in a long, long time.  Maybe ever.  And this is not the first time I have read this book, having first read it in 2012.  It was more meaningful to me this time around, I think, because I have a few more parenting miles on me.  The task of raising children is largely an inner one for me, so this was the perfect book.  I think I'll call it the Ultimate Attachment Parenting Book.  I hate the reputation attachment parenting gets, with people calling it "permissive parenting."  Boy, do they miss out on the point.  I've also seen people call it "okay for pagans," as if one faith or another has the market cornered.  But, enough of that.

When I am reading for inner work, be it parenting or my own self-discipline (which is very much tied to parenting and wife-ing), books that speak to me are ones that speak to my intuition.  My personality type is an intuitive one, but I've also suffered a fair amount of emotional abuse and bullying, so my inner voice shakes a little from time to time.  Hold Onto Your Kids gives that voice and my intuitions strength using data and common sense.

The book spends a long time reiterating the ills of peer orientation to those who might struggle to notice them.  I think recent events and news stories drive home the idea that there are troubles with the young people in our country.  I don't need to repeat them, but they are shocking, disturbing, and increasing.  Current methods for dealing with bullying don't work.  I can remember periods of peer-orientation in my own life and how dreadfully those labled "friend" treated me.  I can also remember being bullied extensively, to the point that my parents sought counseling.  I was told that it must be that I had never experienced being treated negatively and needed to learn to get used to it.  I never did and I never will.

I know why I don't often feel comfortable sharing my children with others and why I prefer to have them relate to adults I respect and care for.  The children that interact with mine are carefully chosen and I have a relationship with their parents.  The premise is, simply, that you need to hold onto your kids through healthy attachments until they can hold onto themselves, when they are less likely to mirror the influences around them.  It means letting them be little, seeing past the guise of the popular peer-oriented child, making life a family affair, and working beyond coercive methods to connect with your child.  My dear friend Susan said "children who feel good do good."  That's what it's all about.

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A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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