Honoring the Quiet

Boy, this last week was HARD. It just was, and we all have them. That is why I am looking to recharge my batteries, to help gear up for this next week, in which ZPB will be off to California for a business trip, and I will be working hard to get the house ready for The Baby, as well as keep The Boy engaged, happy and enjoying this precious time we have left as just the two of us. Aaaaand here come the tears…

Recharging our batteries looks different for everyone. My husband does it via the social scene and his Sunday night manly-men gaming group. He loves to use strategy, he loves to be the center of attention and he loves to talk and talk and talk about various analyses he is making of everything. I am the exact opposite. I recharge my batteries in the thoughtful quiet of a book, my daily tasks such as washing dishes, mopping floors, doing crafts, blogging, baking, cooking and doing laundry (yep, I’m boring). These are the spaces that bring me the peace I need. This is often why people who are otherwise more “outgoing” find me to be a bit of a cold fish: I just genuinely enjoy solitude and silence. It helps me to think,  make careful choices and to be truly present.

Thus, at the end of such a LOOOONG week, and at the cusp of (potentially) another tough one, I want to just claim my space for silence. The space I require  to allow  strength and energy for the big changes coming toward me …to emerge.

I think offering this gift to our kids is important, regardless of whether they appear to enjoy a more introverted or extraverted environment. To me, allowing opportunities to access both ways to expressing ourselves and in finding peace and enjoyinment is part of how we teach our kids. Too many parents (in my opinion, and clearly I always have one) really push their kids into being with others and enjoying social activities like sports, group projects and generally boisterous experiences. I’ll speak from my own corner here when I say that as I child, I dreaded events like Field Day and great big group activities. Frankly, I just wanted to be left alone or with a good friend and a bunch of great books or a nearly empty playground. All the yelling, the competition, the bright dun on my face…it was overstimulation to the max and it often left me feeling confused and exhausted trying to process it all. Yet, I know so many children who find this kind of experience deeply enriching, even soothing! Recognizing the plurality of preferences inherent in us all helps me to think about offering provocations and invitations to play for The Boy which can help him determine how he likes to learn best and what atmospheres feed his creativity the most. But offering the veritable buffet of experiences feels like the right choice here. I notice that he gravitates towards more independent play at certain points in the day, but then when he is at his school, he seems to have a different orientation to his energy, and seems to find tremendous satisfaction in problem-solving and exploring with his buddies, which is fabulous too.

 

To my mind, offering a child chances to be with oneself and with their own thoughts is to honor them, and to honor their independence, somehting toddlers especially work hard to cultivate. In closing, I leave you with this verse by Waldorf Education founder Rudolf Steiner. I think it is appropriate.

Quiet I bear within me
I bear within myself
Forces to make me strong
Now will I be imbued
With their glowing warmth
Now will I fill myself
With my own will’s resolve
And I will feel the quiet
Pouring through all my being,
When by my steadfast striving
I become strong
To find myself within myself
The source of strength,
The strength of inner quiet.
 -Rudolf Steiner

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2 responses to “Honoring the Quiet

  1. Love the post, and the verse. I like quiet as well.

  2. Pingback: Quiet | musings by carly

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