Friday, August 24, 2012

Hot Dog Wisdom

I was driving down the road this morning when I saw this message at, of all places, the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe:

A calm sea

does not make

a master sailor

It really struck me because I was coming home from a really wonderful time at the park with some old friends and some new and their kids. The kind of day that used to worry me so much that I would find some reason to eventually back out and hide at home.
I know it's shocking to some of you but I'm not really a "people person". Truly. I would take sitting home and reading a book over heading out into the unknown with my inconsistent children and chatting with fellow moms. I'm not a chatter. If you have chatted with me, you already know this.
So why do I do this? Well, let's see.
First, I know that my children need other children, in addition to their siblings, with whom to interact. I always forget this until I see my bookworm running in a pack of kids and having fun. I feel that I have to stretch a bit for her and for my #2 who is always attached to my leg these days. Part of mothering is letting go. I'm not ready to let go completely but I do enjoy watching them leave the nest for longer periods. It's such a blessing to be able to see them grow while being there to provide a stable landing area.

Next, I know that I need to be out. I usually have at least one positive experience with each outing but, for me, it's even more basic than that. I need to get out of this house sometimes. I need a change of environment (even more that the kids I think) to break up my days. I don't want to leave my kids while I do this so these gatherings are an even better two-for-one deal.
Finally, it is the group. I have spent my whole motherhood, 7 years now!, looking for the place where I best fit. I have been to many different groups and I think, finally, I have found one. I don't blame the other groups. I was refining myself as a mother early on and they, more than anything, helped me to realize what I wasn't looking for in companions for me and my family.
So, I find myself here, in a group of women (and men) with their children. We are all in the same boat. Some of us are more masterful sailors than others but we are all headed in the same general direction. I like that. I like knowing that the kids running around with my kids hear and see a lot of the things at home that my kids hear and see. I love "chatting" with someone whom I realize has as difficult a time with it as I. It is a wonderful blessing that I have come to this place.
Now, with my co-captain and our five little deck hands, we will sail on and continue to follow that guiding light to the best of our ability. When I look back, I am amazed at the storms we have weathered. Trust is a wonderful thing. 


  1. I saw that sign on the way home, and it got me thinking as well. It strikes me how sociable Jack is, how easy it is for him to strike up conversations and make friends- he talked a mile a minute once we got in the car about his "new friends," and then how much Abigail was like me. I'm glad I can at least relate with her and tell her that I honestly understand. She told me this afternoon that that group was kind of scary for her, but I'm certain she'll come around after time. She'd be the same way at school, as she was last year, but in this setting, I can observe from a distance more and encourage her and set up opportunities for her to interact more one-on-one with someone- like a play date with the Roccos! :) And I see how this rough sea can be so valuable for her development... how it will make her even stronger when her fears subside and she becomes more confident in these types of settings.

  2. She is such a sweet girl. It is wonderful that she will discuss her concerns with you. I talked with Sil about it and we will continue to support you on this end. A playdate would be most welcome!