H ow being a parent is like being a rock star:
• Endless hours on the road with too many people in the vehicle
• Your job is to entertain a room full of loud, writhing maniacs
• If you do your job well, people ask you when you’ll produce more
• You ask yourself daily: “Am I tripping? Or did I really just see that?”
• Your name is always shouted, never spoken
• Someone is always pulling at your clothes
• Groupies follow you to the bathroom
• There’s a different person in your bed every night, sometimes even two
• At the end of your work day, you’re sweaty and your hair is a mess
• Screaming is just part of the job
I’m a mother of four and in a lot of ways, I’ve got this parenting thing down… except when I don’t, because the playing field is always changing as my children grow and evolve in four different directions! Just when I feel content that I’m meeting each of my children’s particular developmental needs they grow into their next level, with me racing to constantly reassess each of their emotional and physical needs, and no two are the same.
Thankfully, I am fortunate to study Kabbalah and kabbalistic astrology has proven to be of great help to me in understanding not just their intrinsic personalities, but how their characteristics and mine mesh (and sometimes clash). As I’ve mentioned, I’m a Virgo. As a Virgo parent, I’m keenly observant, not much escapes my notice. I’m a planner and it is important to me that my children put in their best effort in all things in their reality and in addition, engage in extracurricular activities that will help them form social bonds and challenge them to grow. I’m an organized Mom, but as they say, “man plans; God laughs.” As a recovering perfectionist, it is more aptly put, “Mom plans; God laughs.” Another challenge for a Virgo to overcome is judgment of others. Replacing judgment for compassion, I think, is one of the most important rules for being a good mom. Of course, when they are born or at age 3, 5 or 7 you never think you might feel anything other than bliss when engaging with them, but as children get older we see all the facets of who they are and will become. Their beliefs, values and morals emerge.
My oldest son is an Aquarian, idealistic and dislikes boundaries. He has a rebellious nature and is outgoing, very personable and he makes friends easily. I love that he has friends, what mother doesn’t worry about her child being without friends? But then I worry about who his friends are and how much influence they have over each other. Might I mention, this is one concern of many for parents of teenagers?
My second son is an Aries. I am constantly in awe of his force of will. It’s not a surprising quality for an Aries, but Josh has Down syndrome and when he was born we were given a list of so many things that he may never have become. Josh knows his mind and speaks up for what he wants, no problems there! His capacity for love is incomparable. I am so blessed that the Creator sent him to me, he is my greatest teacher.
Both my daughters are Geminis. My oldest daughter and my youngest, even at 2, are both technology wonders. They both amaze me with how adeptly they navigate smart phones and computers. My oldest daughter is a whirlwind of thoughts and urgent emotions. True to her sign she doesn’t pay much attention to needless rules (a trait we happen to share, but when they are my rules she isn’t heeding, I feel a bit differently). Geminis have sharp minds and are quick on their feet. When our family eats dinner together it is a cacophony of competing voices and threads of conversation, yet Abigail, even at 1 1/2, manages to insert herself into the conversation and even steals the show by belting out “the sun will come out” from the musical Annie!
This year our family has been blessed with both a bat mitzvah and a bar mitzvah. This is the celebration of children becoming adults, which they by no means are at 12 and 13 respectively, it’s rather the age when their souls now take on the responsibility for their choices. It’s an important rite of passage, and as a mom, you think about how well they are prepared to take on this new responsibility. My oldest son will be old enough to drive soon, another major milestone. Throw into the mix my youngest daughter who will soon be 2 years old. She’s still in the playgroup set, with her soft curls and her sweet delight with every new experience. There is always so much going on that it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics and scheduling, but these years are transient and no matter how much I sometimes wish I could stop time, it just keeps marching forward. It is so important to me to not miss their childhoods and to daily remember to cherish these moments because they are everything.
Children are a blessing from the Creator and we can learn so much from them, if we are paying attention. We can learn how to love unconditionally, how to really give and how to share with an open heart. More than anything, through my kids I discover areas where I truly need to change the most. I often observe my children’s action and free, loving nature and say to myself, “I want to be just like that,” or “I want to behave and engage in that way, with that perspective.” It is so important to not get so caught up in teaching and raising them that we lose sight of how much they can truly teach us — more than we ever realized.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Really look around today. Don’t see what needs to be cleaned, changed or organized – just take in all the blessings that you have in your life. For one day, instead of worrying or trying to teach them, stop and reflect on what you have and what you could learn from them.