"Turn your wheels to the right" he said as I descended backwards toward the Sound. I tried not to think about that scene where Ashley Judd smashes the car off the end of the ferry to escape , I think it’s Tommy Lee Jones, in ‘Double Jeopardy’.
‘More’, he said. ‘Stop! Turn to the left. Your wheels are up against the curve.’
I could feel the weight of my family friendly van pulling me backwards against my straining brakes. I prayed prayers I don’t remember now. They had to do with being able to get through the window and not freeze to death in the night waters. I suppose more prudent prayers would have been about making the turn.
"I’ve got her’ spoke the young female deck hand. ‘Let me finish this. I can do it.’. Ah…praise God. The female bonding experience born of an understanding of what terror looks like in a woman’s eyes. See, guys, women acknowledge the fear and do it anyway. You guys just will yourself into success. We have to maneuver ourselves into it.
Actually the female deck hand was the first one to deliver the bad news.
"We were told you were Vashon. You’re plugged by Southworth. We can’t call them all back to their cars, so we’re going to back you down the ramp after we dock. It’ll be OK."
Well…it wasn’t. But make it I did thanks to two deck hands working together and my trust in their expertise.
Parenting is like backing your van down the ferry ramp towards icy waters with only a net fence behind you, relying on the expertise of others when your sideview mirrors won’t go down low enough and you’ve never done it before and if you don’t succeed your either teetering toward imminent death or drowning.
That explains the first third of my new parenting lecture now, and workshop or parenting party later if you like. Someday it will be a book which Adrienne asked for and Audrey will encourage the writing of, but not read because she thinks – well thought—that parenting books would mess up her instincts. They are both right.
The first third of "Of COURSE You Know What You’re Doing…and if you don’t you can figure it out’ is about the metaphors that will help you to find The Quick Fix when that’s what you want in a parenting situation. For example, learning that sometimes your child or teen is a stroke victim and sometimes they’re a foreign language student and sometimes you’re a tour guide and sometimes you’re a drill sargeant and learning when to use what. This is very important. ALL OF THIS STUFF APPLIES TO ALL PARENTS OF BOTH TYPICAL AND SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS FROM PREGNANCY THROUGH THE END OF ADOLESCENCE.
The second third, reminds me of the battle of continually teaching children and teens about sleep, it’s necessity, it’s effect, and the process of slipping into it. Brain science, developmental issues and physical development all play a crucial part. Sometimes you need to look at or review The Educated Fix. For you as a parent, understanding, no…rather remembering, that you are a person, too, with needs and notions is helpful during this kind of fix as well.
And then there is that moment in your parenting when you think to yourself, ‘Ohmygosh! I given birth to Uncle Charlie, or Aunt Levinia…the curse continues!!’ and you’re wanting to break the cycles in the next generation that have bound you or weighed you down and you’re taking a look at The Enduring Fix. That’s the third part of the lecture.
All of this will be presented at the Vashon Land Trust on Saturday 9 March from 6-7:30 PM. It’s coordinated with the childcare option at Playspace if you are parents of young ones who need looking after. Come if you are parents of teens, toddlers, the autistic or physically challenged or anything and anyone in between, or just pregnant and want to consider what the long haul looks like since after twenty one hours of labour you will have this little person looking up at you that is expecting you know more about this being alive thing than he or she does.
It’s cheap. $15 for singles and $25 for couples and if you can’t afford it, come anyway because parenting can feel more confident and you are parents who want the best for your children and teens. Come if you’ve taken every course there is to take and come if you’ve never cracked a book. Come if you feel totally on top of everything and come if you feel like they buried you a year ago and you’re just faking being a parent.
I guarantee as the mother of four, two birth and two older adopted, and the child of a pretty typical dysfunctional family with lots of fun memories and times of stress all around, happily married for 23 years…well 19… and divorced for 18, a pre school teacher, youth minister, and now a grandmother and still working with parents in their homes to increase their family pleasures, I’ve seen it all, experienced most of it, and still have a smile on my face and would do it all over again.
If you have questions please write to me at dha@LGCmin.com. I’d love to share more.
Bring your questions, bring your ideas, bring an open mind ready to leave with a happier heart.