Tomorrow the alarm will sound. I will rise and prep for the day. First day of the 16-17 school year. Teacher work days for the whole week, but still a full work week
This summer has been great. Refreshing. Rejuvenating. In more than just I’m an educator and I need a summer vacation, but as a chance to get to know my son. Witchling had the bad habit of not napping when he was younger. He would be so exhausted, he would fall asleep in the car on the way home and sleep until dinner, play for a short time, then go to bed. I think part of my problems were that I didn’t know him other than to feed him. This summer, especially on days when Witchlette would sleep and Witchling would be awake, we got time together just the two of us. And what a blast!
He is also older and is blossoming so very much. He has tempted his first steps, has quite a few words in his little vocabulary bank, and is just so bubbly and happy.
And I do believe he’s going to follow in his sister’s footsteps with his enjoyment of Magick Circle. Today, while buckled into the baby wearer on my back, he craned himself so he could see all that was happening at the altar space. I had to turn to the side to allow him a full view.
As an aside- the ritual leader called Odin to the Circle and boy did he deliver. I personally have always been tentative to work directly with Allfather as he is not someone with whom you commune on a whim. After he was invited to the Circle, a rather large murder of crows (yes, murder, look it up) descended to the area outside of the garden. Some were large enough they appeared to actually be ravens. One of them left a gift for me behind my car- a new feather for my altar. I’m considering beginning a working relationship with Allfather. Was a great way to end the summer.
While I cannot say I am happy to be returning to work, simply because it means I am no longer with my kids all day every day, I also know that this way will be more beneficial to them (and to me) in the end. On Thursday, I was speak with a neighbor who is a SAHM with an almost 4yo and a 7yo. Her oldest started school and she was lamenting how unfair it is that this forced institution takes her kids away from her. It can be a huge change for kids who just stay home with mom to start kindergarten and be away for the whole day (I’ve seen children who also thrive and families who make it work). It’s going to be a big deal for Witchlette and huge for Witchling who has gotten himself into a sleeping through the night napping 2 hours a day groove. We all get a break from real life and we all get time to be together. But 24/7 just us can be exhausting on relationships. I want my kids to be secure in their relationships outside of the immediate family. I want them to be fully functional people. I want them to thrive. And I don’t know how to do that without having them rely on someone else for a few hours a day.
Besides, if I was a permanent SAHM, I’d have to also be responsible for the other classically woman jobs: cooking and cleaning. And I am a shitty housekeeper.
Cheers to Summer 2016. It was a blast!
192 work days until Summer 2017…
Words escape me to explain the most recent leg of my journey from this weekend. Lessons learned are slow paced mindfulness will help lessen cognitive load and the constant need to retrace steps to remember small details and I am statements said aloud in the mirror are believable and a great way to start a fresh day.
In all that I do, I have the extra layer of being the role model. Do I want them to see that mistakes are worth self loathing? Or do I want them to know mistakes happen, but nothing is the end, and to always move forward. With love and light.
If I want my little witches to know it, I have to live it. I have to show it. I used to be this. I will find my way back.
This evening as we sat down for dinner, Witchlette asked with an explosion of toddler excitement, “What are we celebrating tonight?” I responded, “What would you like to celebrate?” “Lughnasadh!” she replied as she went to the table.
Our red candle is still out, and will be used again for Mabon. Though, tonight, Hubby and I were discussing over dinner, with his promise to be participatory in at-home rituals, that we have nightly blessings with seasonally decorated table and color appropriate candles for dinner. This practice allows us to not only make Magick real and shared and a family affair, but also, since we are at the dinner table, get back into actively blessing our food.
I had seasonal decor for our foyer table, which has been in storage since Witchlette started walking. This decor will be put around the grapevine wreath with the seasonally-alligned color candle in the center.
When Beth puts out her Sun Wheel for Yule preparation, we will adjust the layout but otherwise we should be good!
I don’t remember of I was still pregnant with Witchlette or if she was already here, but the first time a read about this approach- the approach I knew I wanted to take but now had some jargon and a name- I knew I was in the right.
The post was a catch-all list of things parents never thought they’d say to their children. One of the top entries was “Please don’t put matchbox cars in your labia.”
Well, that is one of the labels you’ll see in an anatomy text book…and it is the part where a matchbox car would go.
So, we are a sex positive household.
No, I am not explaining to my three year old the intricacies of human sex. But I am giving her the correct terms and age-appropriate information.
She knows she has labia and her brother has a penis. She learned very quickly that inside his diaper looked different. She asked where his labia was. I said he’s a boy, so he has a penis. A few weeks later, she asked where her penis was. Again, she is a girl so she has labia. She then connected her first dot- Mommy is a lady, so she also has labia. Today, she connected her second dot while taking a bath with her brother. She and Mama both have labia, but Witchling is a boy so he has a penis. And…Daddy is a man, so he also has a penis.
That was all. Nothing earth shattering. Just the facts. Then she moved on to squirting turtles.
She knows babies grow inside mama bellies. And she knows that when ladies have blood, they are not growing a baby.
Today, she asked where babies come from. I said they grow in mama bellies. She then asked how they get there. Before I could answer, Witchling started fussing.
I had my answer ready in the moment, but I wanted to run it by Hubby first, since he’d have to roll with it as well. So, sorta saved by the baby.
He agreed with my take, and we’re ready for the next time she asks. All living things, plants, animals, and people, start with seeds. Daddies have the seeds and they give them to the mommies. Mommies have eggs inside them by their tummy and the seeds go into the eggs to grow the baby.
Sure, seeds is a poetic euphemism but not a fallacy: no storks, no stories. No “talks” in the teenage years. We will add details and terms as she gets older. But this is a statement that answers her curiosity without overwhelming her little self.
Another aspect of sex positive parenting is allowing children to explore their bodies without causing them to feel shameful. There’s nothing shameful in nerve endings. And children at this age aren’t sexual, no matter what their parents may believe. Your darling baby touching his/her “bathing suit area” (bleh! I hate that term!) is not him/her being sexual. S/he’s exploring her body.
Just as abstinence only won’t stop teenagers from having sex, telling kids to never touch themselves won’t stop them from doing so. Don’t say no, say when.
In our house, you can explore your body either in your room or in the tub alone. There are some activities that only happen in specific rooms. We shower and potty in the bathroom. We cook in the kitchen. We explore in the bedroom. And just like we eat in the dining room and the loving room, we can also explore in the tub. Alone. Because exploring is private.
One of the best parts of this is the armory of privacy we have given her in defense of sexual predators. Bodies are private. Parents and grandparents can see it in the tub and while helping on the potty. Teachers can also see while helping on the potty. Doctors to check that our bodies are healthy. That’s. It.
Until the kids are older, buy we’ll cross that bridge when we get there with the foundation we’ve laid down now.
Yesterday, Witchlette and I baked for Make it Monday.
Our weekly routine has been mostly abandoned, save for baking once a week. Not always on Monday, but definitely baking. With her growing imagination and ever-impressive conversational skills, I feel I don’t need a routine to stay engaged. Because we all know that weekly routine was only for my own sanity.
I had been noticing the past few weeks that she would ask to do something and I was increasingly saying, “No.” Yesterday, she asked why. I didn’t have an answer. And I told her so. “I don’t know why no. So, yes!”
I also noticed that, when I was doing something that should have been enjoyable, work, but still enjoyable- rolling dough and shaping pies, for instance, I would find myself getting annoyed when the dough wouldn’t cooperate.
Witchlette saw the frustration, and commented on it. Life lesson time: sometimes, you do things that are fun, but they are also hard. You have to remember that you’re doing them for fun. So breathe, shake it out. We shook the grumpies out, and finished our pies.
Ok, so I only made 11 hand pies and refroze the rest of the dough. You also have to know when to pack it in and call it a day!
7 maple bacon pecan for Hubby, four blueberry for me and Witchlette. Hubby got more because we still have strawberry nutella pies in the fridge.
One of the main things I hope my little Witches walk away with is the ability to take everyday work and necessities and do them with pride and passion. Find the Magick in the mundane, that’s the key to Kitchen Witchery- and life in general.