When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Growing Up: A Beautiful and Bittersweet Wonder

Someone once told me that our children grow up, "in spite of us." As a parent of two older teens,I am fascinated at how grounded and independent my children are...yes, in spite of me.The ironic thing is that I was an embarrassingly over protective parent. I mistook the responsibility of loving my children,particularly my first, Christina,for guarding her and controlling her experiences. Tia was delicate and beautiful. I nursed her for 2 years, never sent her to preschool, let her sleep with me until she was 5....all in an effort to keep her safe... and where did she end up?...in a worry group. At five years old, she didn't want to leave mommy and so Kindergarten was traumatic. I missed the lesson that my primary job included preparing her for the real world.
I erred in the name of love. I tend to do that still.The daily visits to the beach,boardwalk,zoos,parks,play groups,..the building of homemade puppet theatres, pretend castles and pillow houses was the norm but not necessarily effective in readying her for school and friends and life:).
Now here is the incredible thing,kids are resilient, and when loved, they really do learn to "fly."One thing I do well, is love Christina and Robert.At five she came to me and pretty much said, "Hey, I'm sleeping in my own bed...and she never returned to mine." At 13, she criticized me for not allowing her to ever walk around the block by herself with the argument that she would be living away from me in several years and she barely knew how to cross the street alone. She didn't want to be afraid. That was painful to hear...that I had imposed my fears. She continued to educate me and demand her freedom.She became my teacher and then one day, several years ago,she took me aside and said,"Camel(her name for me),you are pretty much a hypocrite...as you encourage us(her brother included) to find our passions,live fearlessly and excel, you live in a safe,small world of your own,paralyzed by fear." She asked why I abandoned my dreams? Wow...that hurt. It hurt more that she could see me and even more to hear the truth. And then I began to paint and to dream for myself and for my children.I was painting for my life.
So kids really do grow up in spite of us:)
And that little girl, now 18, is a DREAMER and a free spirit but tough and focused. Nearly finishing her first semester in college with high honors, she has secured an internship that requires her to move far away.She leaves in January.I think she is about to fly:)

Jude, Art and Inspiration