Tides

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As I’m packing my life into boxes and storage containers, I’m finding myself nostalgic at moments. I just found a file box from over 20 years ago.  Inside was a folder with many pieces I wrote when I was younger.  I wanted to share this one with you.  I was 17.

I will never forget sitting on my special grassy hill in college, a place of much introspection and inspiration.  I wrote this and I must say that I still feel the same way today.  Don’t exist within a mold and don’t let anyone or anything define you.  You define YOU.

As a parent, we can easily fall into the mold society and previous generations tell us to fit into. I am thankful that my instinct guides me to my own places and my own choices.  I am thankful that I trust this and follow it each day. I suppose this was appropriate to find today.  I am definitely living these words and allowing myself to LIVE and be FREE.  I wish the same for you.

Tides

The tide of existence protects us from and exposes us to the harsh nature of this place.  As the waves crash from a distance, we are forced to open our eyes and face what we know is there.  As the tide comes into shore, we are blinded by the realities before us.  As it goes back out, we see more clearly, not only what we want to see, but rather, all that hides in the stretch of sand beneath it’s Mother.

Why are we so afraid of this vision?  We create superficialities in order to better understand who we are, what we are, what we’re doing and why.  We’re so mesmerized by these false perceptions that we mistake them for the truth.  What is the truth?  What is real?  That which the tide covers and at times reveals, I’d rather not see,   Everything around us is more or less temporary and sooner or later, the problems of today will fade into the light of tomorrow.

There should be no final destination of goal to reach, no ladder to climb.  The path need still be there but only as an unformed, undefined passage that contains no boundaries.  Regulations, rules and social conventions bound us from the freedom our bodies so desperately need for expression.  Why can’t we just be free and experience what it is to “Live”  rather than “Exist” in this mold formed around us? ~ Sandy Gordon Frankfort

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Why Attachment Parenting Promotes a More Connected Society

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My family and I spent most of the day yesterday in the Federal Building updating passports. It was a very long day in a crowded space and what else does one do, other than watch your kids play superheroes with other kids in their common language, except people watch.

I’ve always enjoyed people watching as a way of understanding the world and people more. It’s so easy to let the little gifts pass us by unless we take the time to look for them. Today we were surrounded by newborns. There must have been at least 20-30 of them with their parents in line and in the waiting area. At first my heart just melted and I had to ask how old they were. Most were only a week or two weeks old. Then my boys and I just stared as we viewed the miraculous sightings of these precious little angels.

I watched the mothers and fathers and it took me back to those first days and weeks. I remembered the magic, the LOVE, the fragility, the fatigue…all of it. I saw first borns, twins and siblings with their new little sidekicks. It made the day go by and I truly enjoyed being around and interacting with such a diverse group of people and witnessing my boys doing the same.

What surprised me the most in this very large crowd was the fact that not one person was wearing their baby in a wrap or carrier. It actually made me sad but I also felt fortunate as I reflected on the years I wore both of my boys in wraps and carriers. I wanted to stand up and tell everyone the joy that comes from wearing your child. The room was filled with strollers and car seats. I watched the babies drink from their bottles, get burped and then placed back into their seats, then repeat….over the course of several hours. My wish is that one day soon, I will walk into a waiting room or public setting and see a room full of parents holding and wearing their babies.

I am not judging those who bottle feed, nor am I judging you if your baby is in a car seat or stroller. What I am saying however, is that I feel our society has become and continues to promote and encourage detachment from our children. They go from car seats, to strollers to walkers, to play pens to cribs. I know they get fed and cuddled somewhere in between but I can’t help but to wish we could all connect even more. We all need to know we are loved and our babies are completely dependent on us for everything. If we are able to give them as much love, contact and warmth as possible, I believe they will feel more secure and safe which will only make them thrive even more.

In other societies and cultures throughout the world, it is normal and commonplace to wear your baby all day, sleep with your baby and spend as much time skin to skin as possible. Especially in the first year of life. I think about newborns. I imagine their world before they were delivered into this one. They are tucked in, warm, cozy, safe and comfortable within the womb of their Mother. When they enter this new realm, they are no longer tucked in tightly. The stimulation must be overwhelming and the warmth and basic necessities are all they require. Sleep, eat, burp, poop, repeat.

I know as a first time parent the responsibility of it all can be intimidating and taking care of the basics makes you feel like you made it through the day successfully. Again, I want to make it clear that I understand we all do our best. At least I hope so. Not everyone was born to be a babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding parent. I get it. Not everyone will agree with me and in fact I realize many will disagree with me and my ways. That is ok also. I accept you. You can accept me if you want but if you don’t I can live with that.

My need to express here isn’t about you or me or how we parent. It’s about the most fundamental principal in all of life. LOVE. If you aren’t wearing your baby in a wrap or carrier, I’m not saying you don’t love the same way a babywearing parent does. I’m saying, let’s do it more. All I thought about in that room all day was how happy those little babies would have been if they were wrapped up close against their Mothers.

I saw people getting frustrated and annoyed that their babies were crying. Babies cry. Don’t ever feel embarrassed or ashamed when yours does. To me though, the quickest way to ease them once you tend to their needs, is to hold them close. Let them feel your heartbeat. Let them smell your skin. Let them hear your voice. Let them feel the thousands of kisses on their little heads as you carry them throughout your day.

Yes, I support babywearing. Yes, I am an attachment parent. I am not saying I’m better. I am not saying it is all easy. What I am saying is this. This time goes by so fast. These moments need to be cherished. The sacrifices we make are worth it. I promise. The love, security, stability, warmth and connection you offer will make a difference. My wish for the New Year is for all of us to Love more. To connect more. To Accept more. To Attach more. That is my wish.

Congratulations to all of you who have already experienced the extraordinary gift of giving birth. I wish those of you expecting to have safe and healthy deliveries. Being a mother is the greatest gift and role of my life. I am so thankful for my boys and for my family and I will love with all of my heart each and every minute I am breathing.

Much Love and Support,

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