Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Waldorf?

There are plenty of other blogs and websites devoted to the scientific reasons that the Waldorf way of living and educating work. This is about why it works for my family, specifically.

I am both new to the Waldorf way of life, and also quite experienced in it. I grew up in a home that espoused a lot of Waldorf ideals, and ways of living. I also grew up in a world that is not always Waldorf-friendly, and when I was a child, teenager, young woman, I strayed from those ideals. I was sucked into the material world, and not in a way that has benefited me in any way. 

Since giving birth to our son, however, or maybe even while I was still carrying him inside me, I've felt myself pulled more and more back to the peaceful feelings and calm that comes with living a more natural lifestyle. I longed to have the kind of relationship with my son that my mother shared with me as a child. I wanted to give him a childhood full of imagination and magic, which is so hard to get in our current media/plastic/electronics saturated society. It seems that we are more connected to our things than we are to each other in many cases, and that is just not what I wanted for my family. 

Snuggles from N

I wanted to feel connections with my children and my husband. I want the kids to grow up with experiences that they remember warmly, and wish to pass on to their own children. I want camp-outs in the backyard, I want nature hikes with guide books to tell us what that bug sitting on that rock is called, I want to make Christmas ornaments together, I want to tell them stories with no pictures so that the images are all in their beautiful little minds, I want to lay with them on the grass and look at the stars at night, I want to make soup and cookies with them, I want long days on the beach, splashing in the water, and collecting the most perfect shells and sand dollars we can find. I want them to believe in fairies and trolls and gnomes and Jack Frost. I want the first snow of the season to be absolutely magic, and not just another day. I want the first day that the trees start blossoming in the Spring and the day the leaves start falling in the Fall to be magic, too. I want picnics on the grass with no shoes. I want gardening together, growing food that we will then harvest and prepare together. I want bed time to be calm, with a nice warm bath, a story, dim lights, some snuggles, and then sweet sleep that lets them rest from the activities of our day. I've had enough of the bed time struggles. This way works so much better for us.

The TV stays off. The laptop stays closed for the most part. The blinds are open to let the sunshine in (though it's summer in the desert, so the windows must stay closed tight until it starts to cool down). We sing songs. We read fairy tales. We do the dishes together. We fold laundry (something that I used to dread, but is now a beloved part of every Monday and Thursday). We paint. We take walks. We visit friends and family. We make things. We lay quietly together. We make up silly stories. We laugh. We ignore Facebook. We ignore email. We ignore Pinterest. Those things are still there when N is asleep in bed, dreaming little nearly-four-year-old dreams, and they don't seem to mind that I have ignored them all day. N, on the other hand, would very much mind.

Things are peaceful in our home. Things are happy. They haven't always been, when things and other people were more important. When we allowed television and the internet to control our schedules and take our attention away from each other and the beautiful world around us. When we felt like everything was forced, and everything was a struggle.

This way is so much better for us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello!

I have been contemplating the starting of this blog for quite some time, never quite making the decision one way or the other, until a few days ago. You see, I had a modestly successful blog in the not so distant past, which I gave up, let lapse, and otherwise abandoned when I realized that it was taking up too much of a few very important things: time, attention, and energy. Add to that the fact that I was writing about subject matter that was slowly starting to not matter to me a much as it once did, and you have a recipe for bad. And it left a similar taste in my mouth (bad, I mean). It started with so much good; intentions, energy, results, new friendships, free stuff (oh, but the free stuff isn't really free... it comes with strings, and requires quite a bit of those important things I mentioned above in order to receive it), and it slowly just became quite the exact opposite of what I wanted it to be. It became about money. It became about gaining "followers". It became about everything that does not matter to me.

So, I gave it up.

And because of that experience, although I have wanted to start this blog for quite some time, I have had reservations. Second Thoughts. And, alright, if we're being honest... fears.

Then a few days ago, I came across a blog that I absolutely fell in love with. It was almost exactly what I wanted my blog to be. And I thought... I can do this. This I can do.

... and here I am.

I want this to be a place where I can share the life of my little family. I want to share the books that we're reading, the fairy gardens that we're making, the art that we create, the traditions that we keep (and new ones that we start). I want to share why we are raising our family in the Waldorf style, naturally, full to the brim with  books and art and blocks and sunshine and walks and fairies and gnomes and very little electronic stimulation (until after bedtime, anyway, because you know I absolutely must find out what happens with Sookie, Annie, and Melissa and Joey; I'm human, don't judge!).

N, dying a play silk in a beautiful yellow tone. We love play silks!

I want to share all of the magic that comes with raising a little boy. The kisses, the dancing (and oh, boy, does he love to dance!), the made up games and stories, the questions for which I have no answers that spur days and weeks of learning about something that I knew nothing about before he asked. 

What I don't want to share on this blog: the mundane, day-to-day things that everyone deals with. I do not want to write a post about the new Swiffer Sweeper, as awesome as it may be. I do not want to tell you about the latest blog hop, or massive giveaway, or shopping deal. There are plenty of blogs (fantastic ones, too!) that do that already. I don't feel the need to throw my hat back into that ring. If I ever do get back into reviews and giveaways, they will be for things that I honestly feel would enrich someone's life, and which fit completely and seamlessly into the setting of whatever this blog becomes.

At any rate, those are my hopes. At first, I think I will be writing to my self, as no one even knows that I have started this little journal of sorts. I'm not even sure I'm set on the name of the blog, and I still need to design the aesthetics. I hope, however, if you've found your way here, that you will hang around, and enjoy the moments of our life that I share.

Much love and kindness,

K