Sunday, February 16, 2014

Moving Into the Light

I am still Homeschool Atheist Momma!
Atheist parenting secular parenting humanist parenting when it is hard
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I have written many many many times about how difficult it is being a good parent to a child who is challenging. I have not written many more posts during tough times... I have cried and fretted and stayed up late wondering how I would ever make it through my senior years with a grumpy adult daughter living in my basement. A daughter who was only pleasant when the moon was blue, who only ate three different foods, who only knew the words no, fuck you, you go ahead and you think that, and I won't do it. A child who made it rain on a clear and sunny day, and who provoked the sunniest kid in the world to announce that he hates his sister. In short, I thought I was screwed forever.

We have certainly struggled.
We are still struggling, really. But so many things have changed.
In short, she has matured.

Although we are facing yet another half-way-around-the-world major move, Elizabeth is holding it together. She is doing better than that, actually. She is thriving. Although she is against the move back home (long long long story) she is handling it so well. She speaks to friends of her plans, of her hopes, of her dreams. She talks of her plans to move back here to Australia and she is joyful about that!

She is moving forward!

For most of her life her moods have been like tidal waves. They were huge, drowning, and she had very little control over them. In these past months I have seen her moods even out. I see her smiling. Laughing. I see her acting affectionately to her brother, to her friends, to me, even towards herself. I enjoy her. People confide in me about how wonderful and interesting and delightful she is. And I can honestly say SHE REALLY IS, ISN'T SHE?!!

She is happier!

e it that inexorable elixir of time, chemistry, hormones, excellent parenting (!), or a combination of these, Elizabeth is finally enjoying things, feeling hopeful, creating reasonable life goals, letting go of weighted things, opening up to connections with people, looking forward to things, even giving encouragement and love with no expectation in return. She feels it. She is proud of her own growth!

She is generous!

She and I have been making some tentative plans for driving, community college, social plans, and other activities when we get back home and she is darn near glowing with anticipation. She has some reservations and fears but she is not overwhelmed with them. 

She is hopeful and optimistic.

Each day I find myself seeing again and again the fullness of time, the growth of sunshine in her heart, the simple smile on her face, her frequent words of love toward me, and this amazing young woman who is confidently moving forward.  I am drawn to her each day as she greets the new day with laughter and smiles... 
It is a thing that I thought I would never see...

I am so grateful.
I'm Liz
And I approve of this post

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Shooshy:  Raising My Daughter


  1. I am so, so glad and happy for all of you, Karen. I bet Elizabeth's development has been a relieve to everyone, and probably most of all for Elizabeth. I wish you all the best for the move and your future. I definitely think that your continued support and love for your daughter, not just growing up and maturing (or call it change in hormones and brain chemistry), has supported these changes in her.

    1. I generally think of the things that I did WRONG, but I know that the things that I've done right far out-number them. *wink*

      And, you are right, she loves how she feels!!!!!!

  2. What a fabulous post - it gives hope to the parents out there who are still stuck in the dark mires of a difficult child (for whatever reason). I'd like to think that homeschooling and your parenting has a lot to do with this too, because that works for me as well ;-)

    1. I wish you an amazingly happy child like this lovely child that I now have!!!!!!!

    2. I think that those things were key, but I do think that MATURITY happened...

      But the truth is, I don't know. We are so very busy here right now with getting ready to move, getting rid of stuff, and seeing friends that we haven't had a good talk in awhile...but I do plan to ask her!!!!!!

  3. Lovely post! As the mother of very sensitive children, with some magnified emotional responses here and there, I'm really pleased to hear your gorgeous girl is feeling great :D In our case, homeschooling has been the absolute best for the mental health of my son and daughter and I see this is also true for my homeschooling friends with children who have experienced anxiety, depression, etc. I also agree with you about maturity giving a big helping hand but I'm also very sure your parenting has played a big role in that! And I'm still bummed I didn't discover your blog before you came to Melbourne!

    1. I know! We would definitely have had a Meet Up if we had known about each other when we came down to Melbourne. Seriously, we has such a great time there!
      WAAAAY too short.

      Yes, she is really evening out emotionally. She is SUCH a deep thinking and has so many interesting thoughts; it's such a delight to feel like I'm really "getting to know her", you know?


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