Posts tagged ‘heart’

Taking steps

Our foster son is nearly eleven months old, and today he walked for the first time.  He has taken a few steps now and again in the past couple of weeks, but today I saw him walk to get somewhere he wanted to go.

He’s a very solid little person, both in his body and his heart, and his first steps reflected that–not the stuttery, tripping, baby steps I might expect, but five solid steps.  One foot after another.

The rest of the day, I watched as he practiced his new skill.  At the end of the day–already wearing his pj’s and waiting for my husband to get home to read books and tuck him into bed–he took a couple of steps towards me, then stopped to get his balance.  I backed away.  He walked a few more steps, paused, and I backed up again.  He walked across the room towards me in this way, only touching my legs when I was backed up against the far wall.

Parenting is of course a bucket of work, but it’s also an amazing privilege to watch another person learn how to do things.  He had such a look of awe and joy on his face as he walked towards me, exploring the outer limit of his abilities on his sturdy little legs.

At some point, we settle into walking, every step no longer cause for awe, and celebration.  But watching him inspires me to think about what I am taking steps towards right now in my life–in what ways am I exploring the outer limit of my abilities?  What brings joy to my face, and awe to my heart?

I don’t have an answer to this right now–it’s late, I’m tired, and I still need to pick up the playroom–but I know that asking the question is taking steps in the right direction.

October 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm 2 comments

Words

Words have the power to shape the way we think about a thing.  I am grateful to my midwife, not only for helping me birth our lovely daughter (five weeks old and asleep propped against my left thigh as I type), but for teaching me the phrase “cesarean delivery.”

I am grateful to my neighbor, who says her son “sings” in the car, when most moms would call it “crying at the top of his voice.”  (My daughter has a lovely “singing” voice herself.)

I am grateful to my yoga students, who give me an opportunity to consider my own words, to be precise, to speak from the heart, to the heart.

The heart speaks in gentle tones, converses under the din of our everyday language, in which babies cry and women have c-sections.  I try, with my daughter, to chose my words carefully, to consider her tiny, precious heart with every word I speak to her.  Perhaps I can give such consideration to every heart I come across, to bring the language of the heart into my everyday.

July 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

Finding North

The recent celebration of Valentine’s Day put me in mind of some of the sweeties of my past.

In high school, I had a friend who became my boyfriend for a few months in our junior year.  He broke it off after a brief but wonderfully sweet time dating.

His reason he thought we should no longer date was that he felt “like a compass going by another compass” when we were around each other.   At the time, as a sixteen-year old girl, my reaction was–and this is a problem?  I thought it was true love.

He however, even at sixteen or so, had the wisdom to know that you always have to know where north is.  Whatever is happening around us, whatever life brings our way, we have to know where north is, stay with our own center, not be blown off course by the winds of life.

Now, I understand that when you throw a mortgage payment and a child or two and having a career and continuing to learn and grow in life into the mix, two compasses next to each other doesn’t make for a good match.  A spinning compass has a hard time getting the credit card bill paid and putting dinner on the table, much less living life with grace.  Though I love my husband deeply, our lives are complicated enough without that spinning compass feeling that I thought was so great as a teenager.

That I remember Andrew’s words indicates not the depths of my broken heart, as I liked to think at the time, but that some part of me recognized the wisdom they contained.  It took me years–and a few more heartbreaks–to understand them, however.

So, I remembered them again on Valentine’s Day, as I cleaned our bathroom floor, grateful for the all the kinds of love in my life that I give and receive that help to keep me on course, steady, aware–in most moments, if not every one–of where North is.

February 21, 2011 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

Return of the Blog Posts

(Reminder that it is Sharon who writes the blog.)

Apologies to those of you (if there are any of you!) who look for new posts here for the long delay.  We–my husband Kevin and I–had the joy of welcoming a new baby into our lives on December 1st.  This baby has come to us via foster care, so his arrival was totally unplanned and unexpected, and most welcome.

So, I have been caught up in mothering an infant son without the usual gestation and preparation time.  It’s been lovely and (over)whelming (see previous post on whelmed).

Our foster son starts daycare tomorrow, so I am hopeful that this week marks the return of a more regular routine for our household, and my more regular routine to blogging.

During our intake with the daycare people, the daycare provider asked the questions I expected of her, about his daily routine now, how we know he is hungry, tired, and so forth.  Then, she asked me a question that caused me to pause–what are the qualities that you admire in him?

Now, here is he, a little ten-week old baby who I loved the moment I saw him in his hospital bassinet.  At the moment she asked the question, I was holding him in my arms, literally close to my heart.

“Of course I love him,” was my first thought.  “He’s an adorable baby!”  But then I paused, and stepped back, and thought about her question.

To name the qualities of those we love, those who are closest to us, is something different than simply loving them.  When we are so close to another–whether it is our spouse, our children, our brother or sister, our best friend–we can get so close that we stop seeing the specific qualities that we first fell in love with, that we admire, that keep us close.

Her question forced me to stop, to pause, to feel the weight of him in my arms, the love of him in my heart, and to name those qualities that I most admire.  In naming those qualities, I experienced my love of him that much more fully.  Understood it a bit more.

I’m working with that question in my own heart and my own life this week.  What are the qualities I admire in those around me, those who are closest to me?  When I name the qualities I admire–in my foster son, it is his steadfastness and his sweetness–I can feel my own heart grow just a bit more.

Thanks to everyone for your loving support on our journey.

Namaste.

February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am 1 comment


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