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Sunday, October 14, 2012

D is for dragon

So school was better this past week, you will be relieved to know, we all survived. PHEW, arent you glad? And while little man perplexingly had hives all week, he felt much better, so. That is good.

I however...


So we celebrated Michaelmas a few weeks ago, on Monday. It traditionally is held at the end of September and I have to say I love the meaning of it. The idea is to celebrate the harvest but also to sort of prepare oneself for the coming of winter. As St. Michael banished the dragon from the earth, in the story below, we too are to recognize the end of green and growing and outwardness of summer and to move to a more internal focus, banishing the dragons in our lives, focusing more on inward growth and steadfastness. Students, in Waldorf schools, reflect on being disciplined and studious. The summer of endless sunny days are over. Now is the time for practicing letters and numbers and settling in for the work of the school year ahead.

And as mothers, well, this hits home for me. Winter is hard - HARD - as a stay at home mom with young kids, especially up in the frozen tundra where we live. And yes, the kiddies go outside, but the dark and the cold and the roads and the driving. Its cozy and nice some days. Maddening and isolating on others. So we too can use this time of fall to inwardly prepare. And we do without knowing it. Boxes of toys get packed away in the summer, and we start organizing. This box of puzzles will be good for winter, I find myself thinking. And oh, definitely clearing out the garage for some time on the scooters on those crazy cold days. That will be great.

And etc.

We all do this right?

And now to the point:

This past week we again talked about dragons, in our wonderful magical alphabet journey. D, OF COURSE, is for dragon. And we paint a lovely little dragon from a painting story I found. And we practice our Ds and talk about different kind of deer and we read about St. George and the Dragon (who has come to represent St. Michael in many myths and stories told this time of year) and somewhere in the back of my mind  I start to think about my own dragons, and banishing them from the kingdom of my own little world.

The sun rises high (paint a rich yellow sun. rinse brush)
 In an indigo sky. (paint a rich blue sky. rinse brush)
A sunbeam streaks by (dip brush in yellow and
drag through the blue sky into the yellow sun)
 So a dragon can fly!
 (refine your streak into a dragon shape...
the green will appear as you stroke the brush from the blue sky
into the yellow sun and back)

And the day disintegrates. Yelling, in frustration, when the water is boiling over on the macaroni and the baby ONLY wants held, and the kids are fighting for the UMPTEENTH time over who gets to play with the ball of yarn they found and I realize I havent eaten yet today. And I find myself snatching up the baby, turning down the stove, and YELLING, "PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP FIGHTING."

And the dragons rear their heads, thick and strong. Impatience. Unkindness. The grumpy crabby dragons with three heads and fire and ugly scales.

D is for dragon, I think.

And I start to cry as I send the kids outside and call dada. I cant do this, I say. I am horrid. I am mean and tired and grumpy. But then I regroup. And I drink tea. And I read my favorite parenting blog (see side link).

And I think, yes indeed, D is for dragon.

And I realize I need to kick mine out of our little kingdom, like St. Michael, pulling out my golden sword, shining golden cape flowing behind me...

But how?

little man's page of D's

By being intentional, I suppose. I mean, right? This is how we conquer things.

Our family has little sayings, Gentle hands gentle touch, we tell our toddlers when the touch the new baby. Gentle hands, gentle touch, when brother tries to wrestle his golden haired sister. And now, our new one, for this season of bigger kids, Kind words, kind voices. We use kind words, we use kind voices.

And I tell myself that too. Be kind mama, to these little people, use kind voices, kind words. Discipline is really leadership, right? It is setting an example. If I can be kind in correcting, even when the pot boils over and the baby screams, they can learn to be kind when they too are upset, when sister knocks over a perfect tower or brother retaliates by hurling princesses across the room.

And my empathy grows with them as I watch these kinds of struggles, feeling so aware of my own dragons rearing their heads inside of me. I want to spew fire when dada gets home an hour late from work. When baby throws her dinner all over the clean floor. OH! My poor little babies. I know I know! It sucks! Those dragons are tough. And they are always gonna be with us. But, here is the key, we can tame them. Use them. Passion is part of parenting. Part of being human. Part of life on this earth. USE IT.

And I hug them close, and kiss their little faces, and say sorry.

Draw your golden cloak around you, pull out your sword, and fight on with me, I want to say to them. I am there, right in the thick of it with you. It is hard. But, together, we can win this battle. Dragons, beware.

Michaelmas Story of the Star Children
by Corinne Batzell
Once upon a time there were beautiful children who lived in the stars. One by one each of these children took a long, long journey over a rainbow bridge and down to earth. They brought with them from the stars, seeds and bulbs and roots to plant in the earth to make it a good and beautiful place. They dug into the earth and planted their seeds and bulbs and roots. They watered them when they were dry and watched that no one stepped on the places where the seeds and bulbs and roots were planted. They made sure that the weeds didn’t push their way over, crowding the plants and blocking out the sun’s light. As the little shoots of green poked their noses out of the earth, the sun warmed them and the Start Children watched over them with loving care.

But there was a terrible dragon who roamed about the earth and one day he came to the garden where the Star Children had planted their seeds and bulbs and roots. The dragon didn’t like to see such beautiful things coming to the earth. He felt very angry and he began to breathe red flickering fire all around the garden. The little green stalks and shoots that were growing up so carefully and beautifully began to dry up and wither and turn yellow and brown. The Star Children did not know what to do. They were so very sad that these gifts which they had brought to the earth were being destroyed by the dragon.

Suddenly a golden light filled the garden. It was a knight in shining armour riding on a beautiful white horse. In his hand was a golden sword. It was St.
Michael. The knight charged at the dragon and fought with him until the dragon was so worn and weary that he fell at the knight’s feet and promised to be his servant.

St. Michael turned to the Star Children and smiled on them and on the garden. The plants began to grown new green leaves and shoots and the children ran to get water for them.

St. Michael gave to each Star Child a golden cloak. “These golden cloaks will protect you always so that you may work on the earth to help all growing things.” He said.

And the Star Children put on their golden cloaks and watched over their garden. The plants grew and there were flowers, and the flowers were just the shape of stars
my drawing of the above story. the kids LOVE the drawings to illustrate the
story I tell. Then they copy the drawing and letters or, later, a verse or two.

litle man's version.
The verse we said was this...
Brave and true, Will I be,
Each kind deed, Sets me free,
Each kind word, Makes me strong,
Fight for the right, Conquer the wrong!
our dragon bread, made from a story/recipe out of the book "The Children's Year"
(Which you really should get!)
It was tasty but TERRIBLY hard and dense because I forgot the second rising...


  1. ha! you wouldnt be so swift to say that if you had witnessed one of my hissy fits that week. OY! dragons indeed :)


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