The pictures in today’s post were taken on New Years Eve, at Sullivan’s Island. We had a nice warm day for the last day of 2010… sunny and cool… perfect for rock climbing and beach walking!
I love kids. Especially mine 🙂 They have changed my entire existence and I’m richer for it. It’s been such a steep learning curve for me… I’ve gone from being a professional physician and motivated by wanting to succeed in the world of medicine to being a homeschooling mother whose heart does backflips watching my children eat breakfast.
I really didn’t feel particularly maternal growing up, although I dearly loved having a younger brother to care for. But going to med school and getting married there, and even later, during my first pregnancy, I just had this image that Craig and I would be a professional team, running a hospital some day… our kids safely tucked inside the model of conservative society… going to daycare, then school, then college… me running home at the end of a long day, tossing off my high heels and business suit (a la Heather Locklear in Melrose Place) to flop on the sofa and say hi to my kids for the first time all day.
That’s an image that completely changed the moment I had my daughter, and I just knew I wouldn’t, couldn’t, leave her. Oh boy. Becoming an overnight full time mother was shocking, but it was just the life changing slap in the face I had been yearning for. No longer did I feel like life was all one big coincidence. All of a sudden, every little breath and every little gesture held a meaning beyond words, and I realized that all the little things were just as important… the nursing and the rocking and the singing and the swaying held a value to me that no medical encounter ever had.
Still… there was this thought that one day, sooner then I wanted… my little ones would be off at school and I’d return to work at my husband’s medical practice. And I did work part time for a while, running off to his office to meet patients the very moment he stepped in the door at the end of his day… swapping the kids over and feeling like I could somehow do it all.
It wasn’t until we decided that homeschooling was right for our family that I gave in to the wonderfulness that surrender brings… letting go of what my future plans would be, I gave myself entirely to being my children’s partner in learning. Knowing we were going to be doing this together for the long haul… through their teen years… I put countless hours into researching different learning styles, different homeschooling methods, different educational models.
Along the way, I learned through trial and error, and by opening up my heart further then I ever dreamed possible, how best to support my children. And that is by supporting their innate curiosity, wonder, and desire to learn. Whatever they are interested in, that’s what we go after.
As I’ve stepped further and further away from the traditional methods of teaching my children, I’ve walked a similar journey in stepping away from conventional methods of health and healing. Keeping my children safe and healthy, supporting their innate well being… this has been revolutionary for me as well.
Getting to start with these fresh little souls… and really working intimately with them to keep their connection to well being strong, their faith in the strength and health of their bodies, and their knowledge of how resilient the human organism is, has changed how I view health and dis-ease forever.
I’ve been able to watch first hand, through the innocent and pure examples of my children, how our state of mind has a direct impact on health. How framing and re-framing what we think about our bodies can completely change the course of an illness. How supporting a child’s confidence in their body’s natural ability to heal, encouraging their connection to nature, supporting their natural desire to have fun, remain joyful, and not take life too seriously, can make all the difference in the world.
I’ve learned some of these things the hard way. Like most mothers, my first reaction whenmy child is sick is to worry, tense up, and experience anxiety. Adding this to the situation has not proven helpful… instead I’ve found that entering into a partnership… with my heart wide open… supporting their health in every way I can while also supporting their freedom to experience illness and the contrast that it brings… trusting in the process… has brought a tremendous amount of health confidence to both my children and myself.
Miles took this cool picture of Clara and I…
…and Clara took this absolutely precious picture of her brother Miles!
Now that my kids are a bit older, and I have returned to the relationship of working with patients, I wanted to bring some of the things I learned from my long and winding path through medical school, internship, medical practice, motherhood, homeschool parent, author and artist together, into one dynamic place.
And this is the place. I’ve written a Health eCourse that I call Kids Connection… it combines the best of everything I know about health as a physician, with everything I *know* about health as a mother and teacher. It is a three week long course, one that starts out with receiving a paperback Jake book, the book that I wrote and illustrated to help kids connect with joy and freedom. I will autograph it and mail it directly to you upon enrollment in the course.
Participants will receive daily emails (Monday through Friday) for three weeks straight, each day focusing on a different Well-Being Topic… a different way to connect with your child, playing around with experiments, discussions, meditations, and creativity.
Those daily emails are the basis of the course, sharing with you some of the best resources I’ve discovered along the path I’ve forged… books I’ve found particularly helpful, ideas to consider, and activities to do with your children. But beyond that, the real idea behind the course is for me to support parents with whatever issues they are currently experiencing with their child. From bedtime issues, eating challenges and temper tantrums, to supporting alternative lifestyles like family bed arrangements and extended nursing… I’m here to help. For the entire length of the course, I am available via email for private consultation to help give direct and personalized feedback, supporting you in every way I can.
The afternoon ended with a pod of dolphins swimming past… beautiful.
You can sign up for this eCourse (which starts in less then two weeks, on Jan 17th) right here on my website or in my Etsy shop. Meanwhile, I’d love to give away one spot in the class for free, right now. Leave me a comment below and I’ll pick a random winner to enroll in my Kids Connection eCourse… winner announced on Friday.
Please help me out by spreading the word to any and all parents you know who might like to hear about this course. I appreciate any facebook, email, or verbal referrals you give so very much. xoxo