How do you Parent an Anxious Six-year-old?

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Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Running across the bridge, I was smugly satisfied with the start of 2021. I was feeling particularly satisfied with myself after a rough start to the morning. As I ran, I marveled at how I had this parenting thing down. I even went so far as to start crafting my next post ironically, on parenting an anxious child. I, the newfound guru of parenting an anxious 6-year-old, would impart my wisdom. I had surprised myself at what a natural spiritual teacher I had been for my son that morning.

My son woke up…


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Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

I watched my father online last Sunday. It had been years since I had seen him in a pulpit. It had been at least four or five years since I heard him read the Christmas story. I last heard it as he sat at my kitchen table with my daughter and they carefully enacted out their manager scene with the nativity scene I had hauled back from Malawi the previous year.

As a kid, we couldn’t open presents until we read Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. We squirmed and giggled and couldn’t wait to get to the end…


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Photo by CRISTINA ILAO on Unsplash

He held out his hot little hand which was holding a crumpled single dollar and said, “You can have this. I know you are struggling today.” The dollar was from his advent calendar, a treat from the Elf desperately shoved into day one the previous night after realizing there were no Christmas chocolates or treats to give. I did not realize my struggle was so palpable. My ever perceptive 6 year old could sense my sorrow. Which made me feel more guilty and grinchy.

After almost two weeks in isolation in my own home and still wearing a mask every…


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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Last year we cheered and waved American flags through misty eyes while Lee Greenwood belted out Proud to be an American over a square boom box in a large room with bad lighting. The kids and I looked on as my husband raised his right hand and took the oath for citizenship.

I wasn’t sure this day would come mainly because I wasn’t sure my Africa born, British passport toting husband had any interest in American citizenship.

It seemed he fell in love with me despite my country of origin not because of it.

Nevertheless, we began the long and…


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No, no, no, no no I muttered while fiddling with my phone. My husband who was pouring a Friday night glass of wine didn’t know what I was muttering about and tried to reassure me that though the vintage was different than the bottle we had tried a few nights prior it still tasted ok.

My daughter a little quicker on the uptake said, “I don’t think she’s talking about the wine.”

She was correct. As a guzzler of boxed wine when I first met my husband in the Zambian bush, my palate had not elevated to that level of…


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Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

My son woke up inconsolable. Sobbing, his distress palpable. Choking on his despair and disappointment because he had failed.

He woke up and to his dismay discovered he was not a werewolf.

All the conditions were right for werewolf transformation.

The previous night he had howled at the full moon from our front porch, he felt itchy from the hairs he knew were starting to grow on his shoulders and his nails were growing rapidly ready to transform into the claws of a werewolf.

The week before we had researched werewolf transformation on google, watched Teen Wolf, and peppered our…


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Photo by Bradley Ziffer on Unsplash

My son’s impatience with the Impatient Caterpillar made me chuckle. Six-year-old boys may have endless reserves of energy but they quickly reach their limit when patience is called for. After several readings of the Impatient Caterpillar he now had no interest in watching the two-week metamorphosis process take place. He didn’t want me to make what I deemed funny voices and dramatize the struggle this impatient caterpillar was having all wrapped up in his cocoon waiting to transform. The caterpillar calling for pizza delivery to his cocoon was no longer funny. He just wanted me to get to the point…


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I’ve been thinking about voice lately. The different voices that shape us and call us to action or cause us to shrink from ourselves. I’ve been looking for my authentic voice. The last year has been an almost obsessive quest to find it.

I began to wonder if I had lost it in motherhood.

I often hear myself and don’t recognize the person speaking. As the timber rises with irritation after hours of incessant sibling fighting and whining I hear that voice and don’t like. I feel guilty for speaking through gritted teeth and angry sighs. I wonder where this…


The Dance of the Hypervigilant

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Photo by Bruno Horwath on Unsplash

I got a text yesterday. A text I would rather have not received. It’s contents were loaded with pain and heartache and struggle, determination, hope, and cancer. The text was from my brother sharing that his closest friend, his lieutenant in life’s mother had cancer. He was devastated for him. He asked me to help. I sat in that familiar paralysis of disbelief that sets in upon hearing something I don’t want to hear. Wanting to unknow what I now know.

My mind wandered back to the two strong tailbacks dubbed Thunder and Lightning. They…


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Photo by 小胖 车 on Unsplash

My friend died over the weekend.

When I heard the news I wanted to not hear it.

She was such a life force. Big, brash, bold, and never ended a phone conversation without hanging up on you mid-sentence.

She thought everyone was an idiot. Had incredible disdain for lawyers, bankers, and especially realtors. Ironic as she was both a realtor and an attorney.

She was smarter than most of the population and referred to almost everyone as a creature. She was also one of the kindest women I’ve ever met.

Fiercely loyal, protective, and loving she would leave hand-scrawled notes…

Irreverenthealer

Writer, parent, pilates instructor, vet clinic owner, rabies activist and seeker. Still deciding what I want to do with and in life. www.irreverenthealer.com

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