Monday, November 29, 2010


Young One: "Mom!!!!....I know what I want to be when I grow up.....a SUPER hero!....can I be a super hero?"

Me: "Yes, honey, you can be a super hero."

Young One: "Can I be spider man?"

Me: "No"

Young One: "What kind of super hero can I be?"

Me: "You can feed the hungry, shelter the poor, dish out love and kindness where it is needed, you can be a good Samaritan type of super hero."

Young One: "And if someone is stealing someone else, not me, I can stab them with my sword and two daggers."


What can I say? He's a (almost) 5 year old boy.  In his little mind it is cool to fight and be a hero in the way Hollywood portrays it. Our lack of TV certainly doesn't stop Hollywood from entering my children's world, unfortunately. I used to freak out when First Born would play violent things, and then I learned that it really is ingrained in them, in boys. It enters their imaginary world and they need to play it out to figure it out. That's how they work, that's how they learn, that's how they get the images out of their head, by playing it out.

I know that he will someday learn that the real superheroes of this world are the ones practicing love, kindness, generosity, and acceptance. For now, however, I'll let him simply be a little boy and I won't worry that this play is anything

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Guess who's coming to cooking dinner?

Natty Dreadlocks!

These babies have been in the making for 12 + years. Hubs is thinking of cutting them cause he almost sits on them, and they are starting to give him neck problems. 

One of these days I'll have to post an old pic of me with my natty dreadlocks, long gone for 6 years now.

For now, enjoy some Black Uhuru for your Saturday afternoon listening pleasure.

Later I'll be feelin' it for Minnesota as I tune in for Prairie Home Companion.
Happy weekend! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Thanks!

Give thanks! I am so blessed!
Not only clean water, warm beds,
health, safety, shelter, education, and opportunity,
family, friends, and amazingly delicious food,
but also my trials and tribulations,
for all make the heart grow, 
the good, the hard, all blessings.
Love, love, love. Give many thanks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Six Word Friday-Home

Home is my family, my garden,
my herbs lined up on shelves,
ready to be tinctured, made medicine.

My small house in snowy mountains,
holding all of my husbands craftsmanship.
Fire going, soup on the stove,
kiddos reading, curled up on couch.

Home is a hot Minnesota summer,
at the house I grew up.
Smells, sights, sounds, flooding my memories
of days long gone, but cherished.
Walks around my tiny home town.
Bike rides around the rural countryside,
Boat rides on the Mississippi river.
Car rides through the rolling hills.

Home is swimming laps, methodically breathing
whether a Minnesota lake or a
warm steamy Colorado hot spring pool.
All my thoughts get thought and
then they leave me to breath,
In the moment, in the now,
where things really are just fine.

Home is a loved ones embrace,
full acceptance and support, so needed.
Home is being mama, arms ready
for sick, or scared, or insecure
children that know mama is home.

Home-something I long to give
to children who don't have one.
I am well too aware of
those without home, those without basics.

 My home I open up willingly,
most often welcoming anyone and everyone.
Please let me cook for you.

Home is an overwhelming peaceful feeling
that I hope to carry inside
where ever I may end up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

says it all

“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more 'manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
~Alex Karras

I have so much to add to this quote and not the time. I have to leave for work in 40 minutes and I haven't awoken the kiddos yet, made their breakfast OR lunches for the day, but I did have to share. 

It pretty much says it all anyway.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A letter to my son on his 10th birthday

Dear Elijah,

My dearest boy, you're 10.... 10! I see glimpses of hormonal teen-age-hood seeping through at times, causing you to slam doors and say things like "I have the worst life ever," and I see how as you say that you do not really mean it, you just feel you need a way to get the yuck out. I'm trying to teach you that spreading the yuck isn't helpful, but that is usually what we humans do to try and alleviate it in ourselves. I'm not always the best example, but I am trying.

I relish in the hugs you give me when I run into you at school; the snuggles you give me on a cold fall morning that are so welcome; the way you (rarely) open up to me about the social dynamics of a fourth grade classroom. I see the way you are trying to integrate into the adult world, yet you're still so innocent. I see how you really getting why I make some of the choices I make for you. After you cried with me over the oil spill pictures, you no longer argue with me about limiting the amount of packaging we buy and biking/walking when we can. Your heart is big for the suffering of the world. That suffering is hard to face, but it's so important that we do not become apathetic, and although I don't want to overwhelm your young mind, I want to teach you that life is much, much harder for many people.

During my conference with your teacher, she used the word 'reflective' to describe you, more than once. I found it so ironic. Here I am, with a blog called "reflective mama" and here you are mirroring that quality. Your teacher told me of how, during conflict resolution time in class, that you are very diplomatic in addressing the problems with fellow students. You are quick to forgive and happy to lend a helping hand. I notice how I don't have to get on your case about practicing your piano or doing your homework. No such luck with the dishes, but hey... I am learning to lighten up, because you and your brother and life have taught me, that high expectations and idealism are set-ups for let downs, and you're such a good boy, even if you argue with me about chores. I'm pretty sure that's normal of a 10 year old American boy.

I see you still living somewhat in the imaginary world, while becoming more and more aware of the 'real' world. You ask to listen to the news, but you don't really grasp it all and you're too young to be polluted by the crooked media. I have to find ways to keep you in the loop of the world outside of Colorado where you won't be overwhelmed. 

You don't really care what brand name your clothes are and you are not so concerned with looking cool as you are with having fun. You naturally are cool and I see the girls in your class developing crushes on you. You're oblivious to it. I see you proud when you figure out that piano tune with ease, or that trick on your skateboard but I never see your pride being harmful to anyone. Your pride never comes across as 'better,' but more as a belief in yourself. I hope you always believe in yourself, and I hope that you never view yourself, or anyone else for that matter, as better. We all have our struggles, and we don't all wear them with transparency. You never know what someone's life is like, even if it looks perfect, most likely it is far from.

Dear son, I see myself in you. I see you contemplate and reflect and look for the deeper meanings in life, and I want you to know that not everyone contemplates to the extent of you and I, and there are times you may feel alone, but you're never alone. There are many times when it's hard to  look deep within to see how we can change to make the world better. Indeed, it's much easier to look outside of oneself to see how things can be better, but that will never work. Being an example is the only way. And it's a lifelong practice. If we begin to think we've got it all figured out, we no longer are effective as teachers for each other. We cannot reach people without being able to relate to them. I've seen you relate to people, that is a gift. Hold onto it.

Our work as contemplative melancholics is to remind ourselves daily of the joy in the simple things. We want to do great things, when it's more important to do "small things with great love"-as Mother Teresa would say. Please remember to take time to enjoy life, to equally think of all the joy and blessings that are bestowed upon us while choosing to not forget the suffering and working to help make others lives easier. Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Always question your motives. Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Trust in divine timing and also work towards that which you feel passionately drawn. Know that nothing is permanent. Happiness is not the end result because happiness is fleeting. Peace is the real prize. When we can learn to be at peace with whatever is happening in our lives, we've reached a kind of spiritual awakening. I'm not there and I may never be, but it is something I work toward, and believe me, you will have plenty of opportunity to let go and overcome. Hard times are inevitable: heartbreak, injuries, unfairness. They'll happen and without trials, the lessons meant for our spiritual growth may not come. Trust that goodness will come out of them somewhere along the line.

Dear Elijah Day, my sweet first born son, as much as I've wanted to be a perfect mother to you, I've failed again and again. I've lain awake at night counting the ways I've surely 'screwed you up' and I've cried with shame at how I've ill-fully handled situations. I've also swelled with pride at what a lovely human being you are despite my bad mommy moments, how you play music with grace, how you help your brother when he really needs you, how you have compassion for those who are hurting. You are my teacher as much as I am yours and in these 10 years I've grown so much as both mother and human. You are such a blessing to me and you know my heart, even when I'm not acting from it. Thank you.

Happy Birthday to YOU. I cherish you and thank you so much for entering my life. May God bless you in all you do. May you always believe that you are where you are meant to be and it's for the highest good.

your imperfect, but blessed Mama.

.....this letter is as much for me as it is for you, son.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Inspire:Six Word Friday

He was a young Roman soldier,
Who is now called a saint.
Riding one night through a village,
He spotted a beggar, shivering cold.
His fellow soldiers rode right past.
Martin stopped, took off his cloak,
Ripped it in two, right there,
And covered the beggar with half.
That night he dreamed of Christ,
Although he was not a Christian
At that time, still he dreamed
That it was Christ he clothed.
Martin chose to stop fighting wars,
And was persecuted for his refusal.
He claimed to be a soldier,
In the army of the Lord.
He would cause harm no more.

If only all people would look
To Saint Martin's actions and words.
Christian or not, there's wisdom here.
There is generosity and empathy here.
One doesn't have to be Christian,
To act in ways Christ would.
For Christ demonstrated peace and love.
Martin acted Christ-like that moment,
Coming from love, not from fear.
God is love. War is fear.

Tonight we light lanterns in honor 
Of not only the Saint Martin,
But in honor of our light
That shines bright in the darkness.
We all have light within us,
Just as we all carry darkness.
I believe the light can over come.

Tonight we will walk and sing,
"I go outside with my lantern,
My lantern goes with me. Above
Me shines the stars so bright,
Down here on earth shine we."

Down here on earth shine we.

Happy Martinmas! Happy Six-Word Friday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

making fall memories

This past weekend we took a walk down to the river to play.
The day was incredibly nice.
Yesterday it snowed,
Making days like this feel like a distant memory.
Winter is long for me,
And it's just starting,
But I know it will hold it's own
Special gifts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Waldorf Kinderhaus

Ever since First Born entered the Kinderhaus at the Waldorf school (6 years ago!), I've basked in it's glory. The building is a passive solar, hobbit home looking place with natural lighting, bamboo floors, a kitchen in each classroom and of course it's filled with natural toys such as hand dyed silks, wooden blocks, and felted play things. The teachers are always singing or humming and wear long skirts that flow along with their fluid movement and voices. I am now one of them.

I'm still amazed with what goes into to holding these children in as much light as we can. Yesterday morning we said a verse to lift us up before the day began. The teachers pay attention to each child's unique strengths and challenges and lift them up in their own meditations and affirmations. If a child is having a hard time, the teacher sincerely cares and pours her love into that child, whether they are in her presence or not.

Our day begins with a walk around the beautiful school grounds, letting the children take their time and explore every little stick and stone....something I haven't always been so good at as a mother to my own small children. At the school, there is no hurry. When it's time to move on to something new, the transition smoothly happens with a song and a gentle touch on the back. Largely, we are letting children be children while supporting them in learning how to relate to one another and instilling a rhythm life into their school days.

Snack time consists of organic grains that were soaked overnight, and infused with love and flax seeds. We serve nuts that have been soaked and roasted. The kids knead their own bread once a week to eat the next day and they help with chopping vegetables on soup day. A blessing is sung before each meal time, complete with the ending, "blessings on our meal, and peace upon the earth."

Plenty of outside time is given to the children, no matter the weather, excepting major storms. The children are asked to be dressed very warmly and the teachers take great care to make sure everyone is properly dressed. Stories of heavenly little ones are told. Songs of angels and fairies are sung. Hands are busy with watercolor paints, beeswax crayons, kneading bread, or modeling beeswax with lavender oil. Voices are quiet and harmonic and children are doing what they do: learning, playing, going through their emotions without being repressed, but supported.

I am giving up most of my days at home to instead be in this lovely setting. Young one is in the kindergarden classroom while mama is in the preschool classroom and we meet up everyday from lunchtime on. The rhythm is working on me just as it works on the children. The atmosphere is softening me and anchoring me in the present moment. Children will do that to a person. I am even more amazed with how much love and spirit goes into this education. It's such a blessing and if you haven't checked out a Waldorf school near you, I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In me

Good and Evil
live inside of me.
Credit and blame
can only take me so far.
In the end it boils down to me
and my strengths and weakness's,
my choices.
I am lured by my own desire to inflate my ego,
to use false sources of fulfillment.
When it hurts to look within,
it's easy to look outside and blame
some one or some thing
for the way that I am, the way I behave or react.

God is good, and God is accessible,
inside of me, in my heart center.
I need only listen,
and let that guide me,
expecting no praise, no recognition.
It's not about me or my image.
It's about the giving of my heart and gifts
to shine light in this world
no matter who sees it,
no matter who doesn't.
No matter who judges it or ridicules it,
becomes jealous of it, or calls it something it is not.
No matter.
It's mine and it's up to me to shine forth
for the right reasons.
For goodness.