Monday, July 5, 2010

A Beautiful Life

I've spent a lot of time trying to define what sort of family we are. I've been searching for a name to put with a hod-podge of interests and beliefs, something to cut down on the explanations. Or perhaps I just want the comfort of having a name for it...whatever it is, it's not working so well.

So while I can't put a name to it, I can say that my dream is simply to give my daughter a beautiful childhood. One full of color, creativity, freedom, and joy. My influences are many, but there are a few that stand out to me.

My childhood

For better or worse, my childhood is a major influence for what I want to provide for my own family. I think the good is what drives me. There are certain things that I remember being absolutely magical and that's a feeling I want to recreate for Dani. My parents raised me in a completely different fashion than how I intend to raise my own kids, but there are still elements that I can pull from it that fit in with my goals.

My mother always made sure I had whatever supplies I needed for any given project. If we didn't have it, she was always willing to get it. I crafted a lot and I don't think I could have gone very far with that passion had my mother not been so willing to assist in any way she could. It has always stood out to me that despite having no clue how, and having the disadvantage of being a left-handed person trying to teach a right-handed one, she helped me learn to knit when I was only 7-years-old. She still cannot knit to save her life, but she was willing to jump right in and help.


I'm not gonna lie - Waldorf education is pretty. Rainbows, tree blocks, playsilks, gorgeous dolls, gnomes...what's not to love? Though I'm not down with the anthroposophy stuff, nobody can really argue against the beautiful toys that are involved in this style of education. The focus on art and creativity doesn't hurt either. This stuff is right up my alley!

Obviously, I'd never send my child to a Waldorf school. It's school after all....and I don't do school. Period. However, I still pull from a lot of the arts, crafts, and toymaking that exists in the Waldorf realm. The focus on open-ended toys and imaginative play also speaks to me.

Paganism & Nature

This is where things get a bit dicey and I struggle with how I was raised and feel a little lost. I am not Pagan, yet Paganism fascinates me. I am drawn to the sort of peace that my Pagan friends give off. There never seems to be guilt and conflict...and the focus on Nature is alluring to me.

I have been so devoid of Nature in my life for such a long time. I was the sort of teenager that didn't want to go outside, didn't like sunlight, and didn't pay much attention to the seasons. This is not how I want to be as an adult. I want to let Nature back in. I want to focus on the seasons, the natural rhythms around us, and the beauty of the universe. For this reason, I want to find ways to incorporate the Wheel of the Year into our lives somehow.

I crave markers in time. I need goals and dates to look ahead to. Without them, I feel lost and at loose-ends all the time. I feel like modern humans have so far removed ourselves from the normal passage of time. We ignore what it's like outside and hide away in our little heated and cooled boxes. It feels cold to me. Uninvolved. The Pagan view too me is a more practical and present view. People's lives revolved around and depended on the seasons changing and I want to put importance to them again in our own lives.

Putting it all together

The life I want to build is full of rainbows. Bit of paper and fabric. Crayons, markers, paints, and glue. An entire cabinet of art supplies ready and waiting for a joyous child to turn them into something magical. Gnomes, fairies, and toadstools. Fantasy and dreams. Leaves, bark, flowers. A bit of dirt, and plenty of sand. I want my child to never fear being unique, but instead to embrace herself and those around her for what they are. Anything she wants to do, anything she wants to learn...I will do my best to make it happen. The seasons will change, we will change with them. Our nature table will reflect the world around us. Exploration, play, adventure...

So what are we?

Damned if I know. Guess we'll find out.

- Kim

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog and your description of your family, Kim! I think "HodgePodge Family" sounds like a great title for a children's book! :)