May 26 03:25 PM

Teaching children to weather the winds of life

December 15, 2010
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and sitting inside...delightful. Though not an exact quotation, those words frame the window of my mind like the snow that's caught in the corners of the window next to my computer, having been swirled and blown throughout the night.

When Mike went out to retrieve the phone he had inadvertently left in the car overnight, and had to work to unfreeze the car door, I was more than happy to comply when he said, "I don't think you should even try to venture out today."

Part of me felt an obligation to keep an appointment—the other part heard what he wasn't saying: "We already heard yesterday from one of the kids who had to limp his car home after skidding into a cement abutment—I really don't want to have to dig you and our car out of a snowbank in this frigid weather."

I've already had nearly two hours to sit luxuriously in my robe and slippers, and catch up on a little reading. Since I didn't have a book started (unfortunate and sad for a snow day) I reached for a periodical which lay unopened next to the recliner. In it was this wonderful little quote from a book titled "The Gift of Being Yourself." The person quoting it, who was well on her way to shedding unwanted pounds, suggested that you can never change who you are until you accept who you are.

I liked that, and thought I'd share it, along with some words, from Elizabeth Edwards. The gist of something she said—I'm not sure I'm quoting exactly—was: "What I want my children to remember about me is: that when the wind didn't blow her way she adjusted her sails."

She also spoke right before her death about wanting her children to be grounded. Her thoughts resonated with me. As I look around I often see parents giving their children everything money can buy, enrolling them in every opportunity that comes their way. In their attempt to round out their children, though, I question whether sometimes they've forgotten a key element: rooting and grounding. When the winds of life hurl them aloft someday, will they be like kites without a string? Just a thought worth mulling.

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Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
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