When I really found my groove here at the Awesomely Awake project, I reached out to a few friends for interviews because they, to me, symbolize what it means to be an Awake parent.
Jena Strong is one of those ladies.
Jena has been and will continue to be a part of my online village Tribe. I hope to meet her in real life some day!
I gave Jena — an amazing, amazing Poet — liberty to write this guest post however she wanted to do so. I knew she’d deliver and she has. Check out some of her poetry on her blog when you have some time.
Here’s what she has to say …
Guest Post by Jena Strong
Somehow, sitting down to write a list or to answer questions about ways I’m awesome and awake as a mom felt a little dicey, like I could easily be spinning some awesome and awake version of myself, based on my perception but possibly completely removed from my kids’ experience of me.
So, today, while Pearl (who turns six in a week) attended her fifth–I repeat, FIFTH–birthday party in two weekends (including her own, yesterday, which left me feeling like I’d run a half-marathon), I asked Aviva (who is nine-and-a half) if she’d work on this with me. I wasn’t even sure what I had in mind exactly, except that it seemed like it would be fun to collaborate. She promptly said no.
But I sat down with my laptop on the couch next to her anyway, scrolling through your posts, dee-dee-dee…. no agenda, truly! Until sure enough, somehow, we wound up with me conducting an interview of her. Instead of trying to get at what makes me this-or-that kind of mama, I thought it might be more revealing and frankly, more interesting, to learn a little something about life from her perspective.
So, I typed questions. She read as I typed, then typed her answers. Here’s what we ended up with:
Do you have any 2012 goals, dreams, plans? Nope. And I like it that way,
What’s your favorite activity after a busy day: Doing what i do best–sleeping.
When do you most enjoy being around your mom? When we have one-on-one time.
When you do have your mom to yourself, what do you enjoy doing together and why? ‘Snugglin’ ’cause she is so warm in bed.
When do you lose your cool? One word: PEARL.
Other than her not being there, how do you reconnect with your cool? Or peace, or whatever you choose to call it? Go up to my room and listen to 95 Triple X [this is a radio station]. It calms me down.
When do you notice your mom loses her cool? What does SHE do to calm down? She loses her cool when me and “the bug” are fighting. She calms herself down by ignoring the fighting.
What do you get really inspired by or excited about? Whenever I get a new eye shadow palette, I’m excited to see what I can do with it. I get inspired by 3-D art.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about how it is to be a kid these days? NO SIBLINGS ALLOWED. And in school, the boys have all these different gadget things, like first it was Bakugan, then Bay Blades, now it’s these weird rubber ninja guys and it’s really annoying. I wish they would stop.
What’s it like going between two houses? It’s really hard to keep track of my stuff, and sometimes it’s hard to leave one house to go to the other house, and when I’m with my mom I miss my dad, and when I’m with my dad, I miss my mom.
What do you think the world could use more of? Less of? More ecology and equality. Less global warming.
Do you think there is such a thing as a “perfect” family? Hard to say. Maybe.
Please share with us one thing you love knowing about yourself? No. [This answer was followed by both of us cracking up. As Aviva constantly reminds me, "No means no."]
What’s perfect about your life, just the way it is? I’m in the style of this year. I’ve got great shoes, great clothes, great hair, great me!
We wound up with this exchange, and an hour of just-us time in a quiet house, without attachment to how it would go. And that is me at my best as a mama. Slowing down, chilling the f**k out, finding my peace with things as they are instead of how I think they should be — which, when I really look at it, is always coming from some form of fear or judgment. Sitting with myself, sitting with my girl.
Thank you for offering the space that prompted the time I shared with her today, and the things I learned about her.
About Aviva: Aviva is hoping to be a lot of things, such as a veterinarian, a teacher, a mama, an actress, a model, and a make-up artist. Currently, she is a third-grader who has big dreams.
About Jena: Aviva’s Mama Jena is also hoping to be a lot of things. Currently, she is a full-time working mama, a poet, a life coach, an ex-wife who still loves her girls’ dad deeply, and a girlfriend to the most beautiful midwife she has ever known. Her big dreams involve living near the ocean and interfering as little as possible with her children growing into their full, naturally kind, curious, and generous selves. You can read her writing and connect with her about coaching at http://bullseyebaby.wordpress.com.