Sitting at Culvers on the South side this past weekend, I saw a mom waiting outside at a picnic table, holding a very young infant. As she sat watching for her family to meet up with her, she swayed – side to side, side to side – in the rhythmic, soothing motion, so natural to almost anyone who holds a baby in their arms.
A few tables away from me, inside, was a grandma and grandpa with their one-year-old granddaughter, sitting, and entertaining all around her from her highchair.
When Grandma took the little girl out to go to the washroom to clean up sticky hands and face, there was no going back into the highchair again, upon their return. She fussed and screeched and her Grandma stood, confidently and naturally, holding her and swaying, side to side, as the distressed little one relaxed and calmed down.
Ah, rhythm – it permeates all of our lives, and most certainly the lives of parents. From the calming rocking motions with our babies, to the gentle pat, pat, patting on a child’s back, to the singsong rhythm of so many childhood verses and finger plays, children respond positively to the sense of rhythm.
When we have rhythm in our day, our week, our month, it means we are providing a smooth, gentle, harmonious flow of activities – a schedule that is responsive, natural and comforting.
When parents are frustrated with behavior at home, I often ask them about their schedules, about the balance and routine in their family. All of us need to sometimes take a rhythm check to get back on track again. For when we are experiencing rhythm, it is palpable and we can feel it.
As summer changes to fall and fall to winter and winter to spring, we observe the rhythm of the year personified. And as the seasons change, so do all of us make our own adjustments in our routines and choices, to begin a new tempo for the season at hand.
Rhythm of the year shares the appreciation of seasonal holidays that are significant to families and a vital part of their yearly tapestry of events. Two favorite events that are always a part of the rhythm of Autumn for me are the Pumpkin Patch and The Parenting Place’s Costume Swap.
On Friday, October 5th, The Parenting Place Play Shoppe will meet at Grandpa’s Garden, N2533 Hwy OA, Barre WI. For $4.00, we will be able to choose a pumpkin from the patch as well as enjoy a wagon ride, games and activities. We will meet up there at 9:30 AM.
On Saturday, October 13th, from 9:00AM to 11:00PM, The Parenting Place will hold its annual Costume Swap at 1500 Green Bay Street. Starting this week, gently used costumes can be dropped off at The Parenting Place and a coupon will be given to be brought with you on the 13th, when you will get to choose a different costume, plus enjoy fun crafts, activities and refreshments. Even if your child already has a new costume picked out, it’s fun to have extras just for pretend dramatic play.
I wish all of you time to appreciate the rhythm of your family life, to let it lead and comfort you in harmony and delight.
If you have any questions about the Pumpkin Patch or The Costume Swap, give me a call at The Parenting Place, 784-8125.