Thursday, May 29, 2014
This little man of mine is growing, changing, transforming before my eyes. He is full of energy from the moment he gets up until his lovely long lashes close at the end of the day. He can't sit still at mealtime, and as soon as he is finished eating is asking to be excused. He eats his meal and 15 minutes later is hungry again. He is all about doing things by himself. His arms and legs are growing and his torso is thinning out and lengthening. He wants to climb, and forget walking anywhere, he has to run, jump or skip. He is questioning authority and wants to be in charge. He will spend 45 minutes setting up his farm and animals to play, and then not play, but instead move onto something else. He will sit on the swing in the backyard, Justin in the swing beside him, and talk, non-stop for an hour about his life. He is full of joy and laughter one minute and then upset and frustrated the next.
This, in the Waldorf world, is known as the six/seven year old transformation, and is said to start around the age of five and a half, which Reece turned just a few weeks ago. It would seem we are right on schedule. Steiner called this transformation the "first puberty", and from our experiences so far, that is about right. I am reading a book, written by Waldorf teacher Ruth Kerr, appropriately titled You're Not the Boss of Me. In the book, Joan Almon, another Waldorf teacher, likens this change to that of the caterpillar spinning a cocoon and emerging as quite a new creature, a butterfly. It is a transformation on many different levels, his body is changing, his consciousness is changing, and his connection to his world is changing. With all of those changes comes confusion, and frustration.
And that my friends pretty much sums up our last few weeks. It is wonderful to watch as he moves through this change, exciting and interesting, and at times very challenging. I find myself having to dig deep, very deep some days, for grace, love and patience as he, and we, move through this transformation.
It will be of no surprise to you, that both Reece and I are finding our solace in nature as we move through these changes. The moment our feet hit the trail, there is calm and peace. On Tuesday we visited a spot we hadn't been to since the fall, and it was lovely. Time by the moving water, tossing rocks and getting our hands wet, and then a stop at the pond to catch frogs. We spent far more time there then we intended to, but Mother Nature had our backs, and we let her arms hold us both, soaking in the peace and comfort she was offering.
From what I have been reading we are just beginning this transformation, it is a slow journey over the next 18 months. You can be sure we will be spending a lot of time in nature.
Labels: Mothering, My Little Man, My Thoughts, Waldorf
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What a beautiful place to walk. I understand the trials and tribulations around growing and changes - we have just made it through (alive!) a massive boom in communication and independence. Oh my!ReplyDelete
It really is a lovely spot, we are pretty lucky to have it close by. So happy you made it through, though we always do, don't we? We might struggle to find our footing as our children move through these transitions, but we do make it, and so do they, with our support and love. Enjoy the other side :)Delete
Sounds like a good strategy! The river and pond you visited look beautiful, just the place to ease away challenges.ReplyDelete
A beautiful spot indeed, providing exactly what we needed :)Delete
This is beautiful. Kim. I love reading about how you are meeting him in that place.ReplyDelete
Nature is always our fall-back when times are challenging. It is the best place to process some of those changes.
Thank you Dawn. It is amazing how wonderful and connected we both feel after our time in nature together. So good.Delete
Nice reflections, Kim. Mark Morey has lots to say about the 'rite of competence' which happens around age 6 or 7 too. Have you thought about that with Reece? And I think you're so right, that nature can be an amazing buffer in times of trial!ReplyDelete
Thanks Johanna. I have not thought about it only because I have never heard Mark speak on this. But now that you mention it, it would be great to know more. Maybe when we finally have that cup of tea you can share a little more with me :)Delete
I have enjoyed watching Reece these past few years and I have been noticing a big change in him, he really is growing up. Raising boys is so much fun and when it's done in the company the great out doors it's even better, I know it helped me with my boys.ReplyDelete
He is Tracey, and it is exciting and scary all at the same time.Delete
I remember that time. It was amazing to go through, but, as every stage does, has its fair share of difficulties. We live away from family, and I remember then saying when they saw my first born after the stage was over, "He no longer looks like a child, he looks like a kid." Amazing the changes can happen. It may seem like a long road, but it will go by fast. Your grace and patience will help him to grow into the person he is meant to be.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing. And big thanks for your kind words :)Delete
It is amazing, all these transformations that they go through. So challenging, and yet so beautiful and magical too.ReplyDelete
It is amazing. I wish I could go back in time and see how I moved through these transitions at the time. That would be pretty cool.Delete
Oh, gosh - *that's* what's been going on around here! We just hit five-and-a-half on Monday. I wasn't even thinking of that yet, but of course... I'm so glad you wrote about this today; it all makes more sense to me now. (And also - is it truly possible we're there already? Where does the time go?) xoReplyDelete
Yes, that is exactly what has been going on. It took me by surprise too, I wasn't expecting it quite yet, but it's here.Delete
I can't believe we are here already, but happy to have you on the journey with me :) xo
I love how reece is aging and growing and you in turn are growing with him. I loved as my children aged and yes, I did enjoy the teenage years, the challenging and the growing pains. They are all a part of life. How wonderful you see the positive and expand your world :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Karen, that is lovely of you to say. I am growing, and he is my best teacher. Always trying to stay positive, it feels good and right to do so.Delete
We are just coming out of the 6/7 year transformation with my oldest… it has been difficult finding that balance of meeting her needs, giving her space, and also holding the boundaries. But I've also been impressed (or maybe surprised is the word) with how capable she is when I give her the space to be. It really is a transformation! As always, thanks for sharing! (and did you mention a summer trip to VT at one point? If so, we'd love to meet you:-))ReplyDelete
I think that is the key, finding that balance, and that is something we are working on. I may call on you if I have questions as we move through this transformation.Delete
I don't have a trip planned, but I really want to get out that way, I have never been and it seems like the perfect spot for me. I am not sure if it will be this summer, or next. I will be sure to keep you posted, I would love to meet you and your family too :) xo
Ahhhh yes....l'm nodding here :)ReplyDelete
Bella has just turned six, and l got my first glimpse into this stage during her recent birthday party. It floored me. My little girl, like Reece, is growing up and has her own thoughts on so many things. It's like our relationship cranked up a notch overnight really.
Great post Kim. xx
It is pretty exciting and a little unnerving all at the same time, isn't it? It definitely comes with a steep learning curve. Thank you Chrisy. xoDelete
I'm so happy there is a place for you guys to connect through the challenges. So important. I call it neutral ground. A place where all the things that keep us apart melt away and only the things that bring us together matter.
Funny enough, for us, it's my daughter's trampoline. LOL! We have it up from snow melt to snow fall. It is deep in the back of our plot, surrounded almost entirely by trees and shaded most of the day which makes it a perfect place. The moment we step in, all worries and tensions melt away and all we can do is laugh and smile, tumbling over each other like dominos. In the past we've napped in there, looked up at the night sky in there, have had picnics in there... It is just a 12 ft circle of joy. :-)
Wishing you the most wonderful week-end! xo
Yes, neutral ground is a good name for it. And the trampoline is also a great place to let all the worries and tensions melt away :) Circle of joy for sure.
Happy weekend to you too!
Well you certainly have an amazing place to work out this immense change. Recently S and I were going through a very hard time and a friend gave me an interesting description of what it would be like to be 2-6 year old. It's like being a foreign planet where you don't recognize the people, the language or culture and social habits and you have to figure out a way to survive. It made me think of being in a foreign country and how frustrating that can be sometimes but also exciting when you start to get the language and meet someone who can help you.ReplyDelete
I think I should read about this waldorf ages thing. I'm very interested. :)
Yes, we do, and I feel pretty darn lucky that these wonderful nature spaces are close to our home and easy to access.Delete
You should definitely do some reading, it is really interesting stuff and makes total sense once you get your head around it. Some of Steiner's work is a bit difficult to read, but so worth it. After the 6/7 change comes the 9 year change and I hear that one is pretty tough too.