Looking for the big picture.

First, see how awesome my husband is.

Now. onto more important things.


My darling daughter.

Tomorrow we return to Charleston; back to routine, back to our dumb mutts, back to the norm.

Coming back to our hometown is so bittersweet. Being ‘home’ is such a comforting feeling. Smells and scents bring on memories that make you reminisce. The elements weather the ground and foliage. Buildings rust and the paint fades. These things are so much more noticeable since you have been away for so long.

When you leave ‘home’ and are exposed to many new sights and smells, the memory of ‘home’ fades just a little.

The same way, when you step back from a problem you are facing or a situation you are in, you can see the bigger picture better.

I make a conscious effort to remind myself that Daphne’s sickness, crying, and dependence on me are all temporary things. I focus on the big picture; on the fact that I am given a little life to raise and train and love. What a wonderful blessing.

A person can hardly go out in public without exposure to negativity. A person doesn’t even have to leave home to experience it. Read the news lately? Heard a loved one complain about another person?

You can’t control other people’s behavior (unless you have a magic behavior generator that changes people’s minds for you with a simple click of a button…and if you do, you need to market it). However, you can control your own behavior.

Two people undergoing the same circumstances can view the situation completely opposite of each other. I think that handling negative situations with a positive attitude is the better way to live. Who wants to walk around with a chip on his or her shoulder? Wouldn’t that get heavy?

I suppose what I’m getting at is this: Remember that life is actually a short occurrence. 80 or so years sounds all well and good, but those years pass by so quickly. If a problem is bothering you, fix it.

For example, I am slightly bothered (not concerned or consumed with worry) by Daphne’s lack of body strength, namely her neck muscles. We do tummy time and for an 11 week old, I suppose she’s doing okay. However, I think this sickness has really drained her and she’s lost a bit of strength because of it.

My mom made a great point that struck home with me this week. She said “You’re responsible for your baby’s development.” Given, not all babies develop at the same pace or with the same process (lifts head first, responds to smiles, and coos last). My darling is an empty book. She learns everything from the stimuli around her. What is around her daily? Me.

I am constantly holding her, talking to her, singing to her, or carrying her around with me as I do my chores. I talk to Daphne and explain things. She learns from my example. What example do I want to set for her? What do I want her big picture to look like?

I want her to see how much I love to sing. Therefore, I sing a lot. I sing about the alphabet, multiplication tables, and I sing my favorite songs to her.

I want her to know how to be productive: How to clean, how to make a bed, how to do laundry. Therefore, I carry her with me as I put away dishes and rinse off the dirty ones. I load up the washer and pile up the clean clothes to fold later on, all while she watches.

I want her to stay busy with her hands and not be idle. Therefore, I am actively doing something throughout the day.

I want Daphne to know that I love my husband, her father. Therefore, I tell her how happy I am with daddy, how much daddy loves us, and that her daddy is an amazing man.

I want Daphs to enjoy learning, so I keep my mind fresh with books and research. I want her to see me researching and hear me questioning knowledge and opinions.

It’s all about the big picture.

Homeschooling has been on my mind as of late. As Sam and I walked into my high school gymnasium to watch my niece practice basketball, I was reminded of my high school experience. I loved school. I remember the smell and it brought to mind memories of eating lunch in the foyer, roaming the halls with friends, and all my favorite teachers and classmates.

Depriving Daphne of a social experience is not my intention through homeschooling. My hope through homeschooling is to encourage Daphne to explore the world first hand and to develop a love for researching topics of interest to her. Besides, who says that homeschoolers don’t have social skills? I suppose that some families who homeschool choose to shelter their children for various reasons. Perhaps they do not have access to homeschool groups or social clubs (like church) with whom to get involved. I think that nowadays, however, there are so many outlets for social development for kids that doesn’t necessarily include public school.

I hope to instill a love of learning in my daughter, one that will follow her throughout her life. To do this, I feel that it is my responsibility to take hold of her education and direct my attention to her learning style and pace.

I’m excited to think of teaching her everything I know. I am starting out, as I said, with basic household duties and my hobbies. I think that I would rather have spent half a day learning at my own pace and researching topics of my own interest rather than spending the full day at pre-directed pace.

I remember my younger school days where I would zoom through the reading and homework. I would be done before the rest of my peers. I was told to read or sit there and wait for everyone else to get done. I guess I didn’t mind it then, but looking back, my time could have been better used.

To me, it seems that the education system has slowed its pace to accommodate every single learner. While this is good in concept and on paper, realistically it doesn’t pan out to create the best results.

I don’t think being a teacher is a bad thing or that teachers ‘aren’t doing their jobs.’ I think that the different styles and paces of learning should not be clumped together in one classroom. Therefore, I’ll create my own classroom.

So, I continue to look for the big picture. I continue to look for ways to make a better future for my daughter. I do my absolute best to think positively and act uprightly to be a good example for her.


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