Sandra Dodd

Note from Sandra:  I formated a lump-of-text post Tuesday morning, and there were two problems.  I dropped a bit, and the paragraphs I guessed at weren't as good as Lisa C's own re-vamping of it.  I deleted the second one, thinking it was almost the same, but this is sufficiently better to post again. :-)

Thanks, Lisa.

There were formatting issues with my first attempt at posting this, and a quote was lost, so I'm reposting it:

<<"I read your entire website before I subscribed to the list. If all you can do is refer people to read more material – you cannot help me. If I wanted to read more about unschooling information I would buy a book. I have read everything I could>> 

This reminds me of how I have been rereading the same things over and over on your site, and here, for the last year and a half, and thought I understood, and really thought I got it-- and am only now *really* starting to get it.

 And I used to ask myself a lot, 'am I getting this yet?' 'when will I ever get this?' 'I'm doing what they say to do but we're still all so unhappy. When will it start to work?'   

Now I know. I had to stop looking at IT and start looking at my family, and our unhappiness, and being honest about it- and then started collecting little moments of peace and happiness. 

Then all the stuff I'd thought I'd understood perfectly started to really become clear. I'd been doing some things, like not setting arbitrary limits on food or tv or bedtime. But I was still thinking too much about my ideas of how I wanted to be, and what I wanted for my family. 

 Yesterday I had a slip up. I had gone out in the morning and been gone for a few hours.  After returning, I started to notice my 4 year old's behavior getting out there- he was really worked up, jumping and yelling (playfully, but with that, 'I'm about to lose it, someone please help' edge)- and my wheels started spinning with 'he needs time with me- how can I accomplish that and Kai will be getting tired soon and will need me to nurse him down, and I need to go the post office and ......'

An hour later I had stamps and had mailed bills, but my toddler was now tired and crying for a nap, and Josh, my 4 year old was also crying and grumpy and in distress. I could have smacked myself on the forehead. I thought back to that moment when I noticed Josh's behavior was his cry for help, and saw how my ideas of all that needed to be done carried my attention swiftly away from my actual son.  

It would have been so much better to see clearly, my son who needed me NOW, that my toddler would probably be fine for another hour before getting tired, and stamps could certainly wait.

My husband was home yesterday too, and Josh's unhappiness (and my scrambling around) put him in a grumpy mood, and it was more difficult to recover everyone's peace of mind. I'm not sure it happened adequately yesterday, though there were lots of good moments. Particularly one where Josh walked into the room where his dad and little brother were, and I heard him cheerfully say, "I love you Daddy. And you too Kaiden." 
And today is a new day.  

(AND this all happened on the same day that I was noticing and writing about how much more often I really do 'get it'!) Reading it (or writing about it!) isn't the same as getting it. 

<< What I need is rewording of everyday situations.>> 

The words don't change, or don't change much.  If the person reading wants to see things differently, they have to change.  As I've changed, the same words I've read over and over sink in better, become more clear, mean more to me, and become more applicable to my real life.

 Lisa C