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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What We Have to Give to Our Children (and keep for ourselves)

This morning while E was in summer camp, they offered a seminar for the parents.  Yes I got to go to class!  (A special thank you to Helen and Dianne for making that happen!).  Joan Franklin Smutny was so amazing to listen to, and many of her words resonated with me.  For I always believe that while we are here to discipline, guide, and protect our children; more importantly, we need to let them know we will stand up for them, be their biggest fan, and we will love them for who they are no matter what. If a child feels loved and secure than you can build the rest upon that foundation.  Here are some things she shared that I found so special.

by Pablo Casals
Each second we live is a new and unique
moment of the universe,
a moment that never was before
and never will be again.

And what do we teach our children in school?

We teach them that two and two make four
and that Paris is the capital of France.

When will we teach them what they are?

We should say to each of them:
Do you know what you are?

You are a marvel. You are unique.
In ALL OF THE WORLD there is no other child exactly like you.

And look at your body - what a wonder it is!

Your legs, your arms, your cunning fingers,
the way you move!

You may become a Shakespeare,
a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven.

You have the capacity for anything.

Yes, you are a marvel.

And when you grow up, can you then harm
another who is, like you, a marvel?

You must cherish one another.

We must all work -
to make this world worthy of its children.

Manifesto for children by Paul Torrance

1. Don't be afraid to fall in love with something and pursue it with intensity.
2.Know. Understand. Take pride in. Practice. Develop. Explore your greatest strengths.
3. Learn to FREE yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games that they impose on you.  Free yourself to play your own game.
4. Find a great teacher or mentor who will help you.
5. Don't waste energy being well-rounded.
6. Do what you love and can do well.
7. Learn the skills of interdependence.

surely these aren't just for children! ;) 

Excerpts from Rachel Carson's, The Sense of Wonder

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscover within the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.

I sincerely believe that, for the child and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel....The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil....It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.


All such  beautiful words my heart believes in and needed to hear today, the reaffirmation of how I feel about raising my children.  Knowing this is how God feels about us and how he wants us to feel about those he has gifted to us.  I struggle with taking care of all I need to in all of my roles and the facets of my life, yet I cannot lose sight of what is the heart of it all.  As the famous song goes...I hope you never lose your sense of wonder...

Thank you so much for letting me share.  :)


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I so appreciate your sweet thoughts and thank you for sharing. I always try to reply whether it be to your email or on one of your blog posts! Wishing you a wonder*filled day! Michelle

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