Yesterday, after a day at Wild Peace Farm harvesting and weeding, Tee and I joined some friends for a cookout. It was my favorite kind of weather – sunny and beautiful, with a slight breeze – and we spent time coloring, playing, eating amazing food (kimchi bacon burgers!), and talking.
I got a chance to talk with one friend about a book she recommended to me – Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne. This friend is a teacher at a Waldorf school, and Payne is also associated with Waldorf, though I can’t recall in what capacity. The principles he teaches in Simplicity Parenting are certainly aligned with many Waldorf principles and techniques, from what I have learned from my friend the Waldorf Teacher.
I am often drawn to teachings and readings focused on simplicity, and I enjoyed a lot of what Payne had to say about simplicity in parenting. He talks a lot about keeping things simple – helping your children to not become too overwhelmed by choices or by stimuli. And it’s been causing me to think about what we want our house and our life to be like when Our Baby comes home. As I’ve read, I’ve been peeking into Our Baby’s room and thinking about the things that often get out of control in the houses of other family homes – toys, clothing, even books.
Sidebar: One of the weird things about being an Adoptive-Parent-In-Waiting is never knowing exactly when your baby is going to come home. You’re never sure exactly how much time you have, and, if you’re like us, you don’t want your baby room to be completely set up and waiting during the long days, weeks, and months. Additionally, one of the standard traditions for expectant parents – having a baby shower – doesn’t really fit in well with the adoption wait, so we (somewhat presumptuously) anticipate that we’re going to have an influx of presents and stuff that will come several months after Our Baby comes home. So, I’m glad I’m reading this book now so that we can plan ahead.
Anyway – I have a feeling that Simplicity Parenting is a text I’m going to come back to over and over again during our parenting years. There’s a lot of information about the effects of television and screen time, new and the media, and even adult conversation and habits when it comes to kids. What Payne had to say about schedules, environment, and rhythm was really significant to me as well – very meaningful food for thought.