Preparing To Say Goodbye Even As I Hug Hello

 

My daughter and I pull up in the five-minute waiting zone outside the bus station. She relays her brother’s text messages to me.

“Bus is running late. I’m hungry”.

I sit gazing through the windscreen. I have not seen my man-son for eighteen months. I remember my swollen eyes as I hugged his taught frame goodbye at the airport, and cannot believe this was over a year ago. I wonder why I am so calm. Where is my feeling of anticipation, of excitement? Oh, could it be because Christmas is in three days, and I am overwhelmed with work, planning, and general busyness? No time to feel!

When I Realised That Being A Parent To An Adult Is Different To Being A Parent Of A Child

 

The glass doors glide silently open. Wearing a dark, pin-striped pencil skirt and stiletto-heeled shoes, I step nervously into the hushed court entrance. My parents, wary and apprehensive, flank me.

I am in shock. I cannot believe where life has brought me. Mum and Dad - my champions - are just as stunned. Borne of the stoic generation, they keep their feelings in check.

Learning to Take The Back Seat As A Parent

 

Three of us are in the car – my young adult son, my learner-driver teenager, and me.

“I’ll supervise”, says my son, and my daughter nods, grinning at him in collusion and trust.

“OK Mum. I’m looking after things, remember?” says my boy. And I see the curve of my daughter’s cheek as she laughs in agreement.

As My Child Moves To Adulthood, Am I Treasuring The Moments? (a short read)

Larissa Dann

Here we are at the beach, my teen and me, taking photos at her request. With my daughter’s permission, I am posting not because of the picture, but because of her.

She is racing to adulthood, and I am barely keeping up.

Grandparents And Grandchildren: Observations From A Parent In-Between.

 

He fumbles open the car door, leans down to grab his stick, then steps precariously across the gutter. She glides to the door, closes it, and peers at me through the smudged glass with a look that she knows I will understand.

“I will look after him, but I’m a bit worried . . .” are the words I translate from her eyes.

“Without Rewards or Punishment, What Motivates You?” Young People Raised Gently Answer Parents’ Questions.

Larissa Dann

“Bringing up children without rewards or punishment, and no smacking? They’ll be spoilt brats that are entitled and selfish!” So said my mother and her friends when I declared that this was the way I would be bringing up my son, twenty-four years ago. A second child later, and it’s time to reflect.

Just how did this parenting approach impact on my children, and importantly, our relationship, as they matured through childhood, the teen years, and on to adulthood?

What better way to find out, than to ask the young people themselves?

Loving Our Ailing Relatives: Still The Same, But Different.

Larissa Dann

“Take me away from here”, she croaks. “Take me away”.

These are the words my mother say when I first visit her in the nursing home

“I know you don’t want to be here, Mum. You never wished to be in a home. We just can’t look after you at your place”.

Nostalgia And Sentiment: My Christmas Clean Out Sabotaged!

Larissa Dann

The Christmas break. I set myself two main tasks: help the family prepare for Christmas; and clean out the garage. You know, declutter. I found, however, that Nostalgia became my subverting companion in these missions.

The Heartbreak Of Packing Up Your Parent's Life

Larissa Dann.

Slipping the key into the lock, I turn the handle, and step into times past. Immediately, I inhale the scent of my mother’s life, captured forever in the carpet, the cupboards, the air contained within the walls of her home.

Only – it’s not her home anymore. This house (once a home) is a museum for family memories.

Podcast: When My Baby Sprouts a Beard: Larissa Dann and P.E.T.

 

I was fortunate to be interviewed by Hunter Clarke-Fields on bringing up children using gentle, mindful parenting from Parent Effectivness Training. Here is her introduction:

"Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could look into the future and see the results of mindful parenting?

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