This morning I spent a few hours with my youngest daughter, Rain. Her older sister and little brother have already started school so we were able to steal some special Mommy/Daughter time.
I decided to give her a gift that I’ve written about before, but this morning reminded me how special it is, and how important tools to learn how to communicate with your children can be.
It’s a mother-daughter journal called “Just Between Us” that was given to me as gift for my 10-year-old a few years ago. Since then, I have gifted it to many our friends with daughters.
What it does is create a safe place to communicate and to learn about each other, with no rules, no possibility to get in trouble and never, ever any kind of judgment.
So Rain and I sat outside on our terrace overlooking the ocean this morning. While I enjoyed my morning coffee, we pulled out special pens and colored pencils. We set up our guidelines, made an agreement on where we would hide it – so that it was private and only for us. We also made a commitment as to how frequently we would write and respond to each other’s entries.
On the first page, the book asked a lot of questions about our favorite things. One side was for me and one was for Rain, and funny enough, many of our favorite things were the same.
What I love most about this book – it not only promotes dialog and communication, but it also creates a trusting space between mother and daughter. I think this is so important, especially as I watch my 13-year-old who is now going into 8th grade. I realize how valuable our intimate relationship is, and I can only hope that it will remain that way for a long time.
It’s been quite an emotional week. Shaya started kindergarten and even though I’m a four-timer this year, it was still a morning full of tears and lots of different emotions.
I had to capture a picture of him laying in bed, the last morning before he became an official kindergartener and my photo session continued throughout the morning during his kindergarten ceremony.
On the same day, I was dropping Neriah off for 8th grade and I think she was more nervous than Shaya. I spent the last week preparing the two of them and appreciating the fact that I still have a few more weeks until my other two start school.
In order to respect Neriah’s privacy, I can’t go into the details but I’m sure any of you who have a teenager can imagine the scene in the intimate apparel shop as we picked out age-appropriate undergarments:
What’s too lacy? What’s not pretty enough? Do we go padded? And then of course, one of my favorite questions that all my girls have asked… why and when do you wear a thong? LOL.
It’s been an action-packed week and what an emotional challenge, trying to find the right balance between letting go and staying close. My best Mommy advice: Remember to talk and always know how to listen.
Happy back to school, everyone.