Why I wRItE

I hope this first day of Daylight-Saving Time is treating you well! Be gentle with yourselves and your children in the next couple of days as we all make the shift to the new time.

One way I planned to be gentle with myself was to give myself a break from trying to create a new piece of writing whole cloth today, and instead dip into my lovely trove of articles from the past 4 years. (Kind of like how my favorite food writer includes links to recipes that she shared anywhere from 6 months to seventeen years ago.)

But as I was going back, year by year, it started to dawn on me…could this week be…yes, it is. Oh my. This week marks the anniversary of the day I started writing about RIE.

Growing up, I always enjoyed writing, but never considered myself a writer. (And the scads of unfinished journals I unearthed as my Mom and I emptied my childhood home this past December can attest to that.) No, I found my calling in working with parents and children, and the Educaring Approach demands presence, does it not? And besides, who has the time to write? Well, when the world shut down in March of 2020, I suddenly had nothing but time.

And yet, it wasn’t my first instinct to start writing…No, I was led to writing through a request for help and guidance, and from that first email I started to find my voice and find my way. The zoom ‘office hours’ I kept helped me feel connected to families in a time of disconnectedness, and it occurred to me that the things we talked about were surely things others were wondering about, so I continued to write. And then I realized that we could safely meet outdoors and RIE in the Wild was born…and you know I had to document that amazing and beautiful adventure.

My guiding light in writing each week has always been to (I hope) provide some help and support. A little connectedness, even in a world where we’re able to start to connect more and more again. And now, here they are in order…the things I was writing about in March of…

2020: Talking to your children about Covid-19 (or anything stressful). Followed quickly by a reminder that we demonstrate our care to children through our touch.

2021: Dealing with Difficult Emotions (and its sister post: Desperately Seeking Certainty). Those weeks I was deep into how to develop resiliency and apparently it’s the first time this phrase was seared into my soul: Your children don’t need you to save them. What they need is to see you saving yourself. Chills.

2022: Feel the Feelings. In which I learn that hail storms in March are not as uncommon as I thought. (Oh, and I also talk about how it’s so important to let yourself feel the feelings, even…no especially…the hard ones)… I’m sensing a trend, here…are you??

2023: Care is love. I wrote about the magic of caregiving and how it strengthens the bond between the one who offers care and the one who receives it…and how lucky I am to be able to experience this when I offer snack.

Care…touch…allowing emotional space. I think those sum up this work pretty nicely, don’t you?

Warmly,

Melani

PS. I’m not trying to be Eeyore here: I don’t want to wallow in the distress we all went through in those incredibly long hours in the long days, weeks, and months of uncertainty…but someone once said to me that we haven’t really allowed ourselves to process the trauma of that time. We just kind of moved on. Perhaps instead of just plowing ahead, we should do as Tina Payne Bryson and Dan Siegel say we should do for young children who’ve experienced trauma…perhaps we should tell the story of what happened. Name it to tame it. And what do you know…My friend and colleague, Kira Solomatova is doing a whole workshop on this at the RIE Conference in April.