I always knew I had a parenting philosophy, but it wasn't until we pulled Peony from one daycare center and placed her in another that I was able to put it into words. The new center asked for one, for one thing, which is a damn good sign. So here's what I wrote:
Provide gentle challenges--reward persistence and achievement and trying
new things--aim for more than just "safe and happy." Lots of love and hugging.
LOTS of outdoor time and natural stimulation. Minimize electronic stimuli,
plastics, commercial influence, as much as possible. Respect her body
I'm happy with that. We'll see how it stacks up when I have more than four months of experience as someone's mama, but so far, I think it's right. For me there is a big emphasis on respectfully moving out of your comfort zone, every day if possible. That's how I live now. And that's probably why I like being a fitness instructor: I get to do that for other people all the time. Probably not every child loves to live that way, but when Peony was three months old, she watched a train roar by ten feet away from us, giving her little body a huge jolt in my arms, and afraid I'd overdone it, I asked Blue to look at her expression. "She's smiling," he said, and I knew I had a child a lot like me: OK with getting out of her comfort zone because new things, sometimes, new things really pay off.