And just like THAT...it's FALL! The weather is beginning to get cooler, school is in session and the leaves are starting to turn. I love living in a place that has evident changes all four seasons. Every time a new season rolls around it’s like a little reminder that we change too. That in our lives we go through times of growth, times of expectant waiting, times where we need to let go of things…and fall is my favorite. When I see those leaves changing into their beautiful red and golden hues it takes my breath away. It’s almost like God is painting the scenery to say “Hey, check this out, look at the intricate detail in these leaves. Slow down and bask in my glory displayed.” And then of course, there’s stepping on crunchy leaves, who doesn’t enjoy that? Then again, sometimes I feel like that crunchy leaf. Shriveled, dried up, and on the ground waiting to be stepped on. Today’s world is tough. Being a parent is even tougher at times. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is incredibly true. We all reach a breaking point, we all get worn down, we all say things we shouldn’t and do things we regret.
What’s amazing about the leaves changing and falling is that it’s not just one leaf. It’s a bunch of them, enough to make a pile to jump in. You are not alone in the struggle to parent, or even not parenting. Every single person goes through tough times. You are not alone. One of the biggest lessons my kids get from me is…. wait for it…..apologizing. I have to apologize a lot. Nothing is quite as humbling as having to apologize to the people you are supposed to be responsible for because you were acting their age. But you know what, I’ve noticed that they have started apologizing without being prompted. So even in remedying my mistakes they are learning.
Any gardener will tell you that pruning is an essential part of healthy plants. Dead leaves and buds must be snipped of in order to make way for new, fresh, beautiful growth. So when we fail, and find ourselves dried up, crumpled and on the ground waiting to be stepped on, we need to remember that without that fall, new growth couldn’t come. Maybe we need to apologize or make a plan to stop a certain behavior or habit. Enlist help—find a parenting support group, hang out at the library and meet some people, reconnect with old friends or family. We all go through it. You are not alone.
Written by the staff and volunteers of the Southern Tier PRC.