About parenthood and Patti Smith

I wanted to begin this text with a quote. With some wise words from an inspiring woman, who I earlier this week, was lucky enough to spend an evening in the company of. I started looking through her books. The new one, and old one, my favorite one. There were just too many. Too many things said and done, too many wise thoughts written down in her little notebook, too many sentences that reflected how I feel right now.

I thought about, what she said in between her readings, which songs she had sung with her daughter, Jesse, playing the piano. It was touching, poetic, funny and beautiful. Heartwarming and magical. At 69-years-old Patti Smith managed to lift a whole church full of people out of the everyday trivialities and into a world full of poetry and art. To make us all forget about the little worries and inspire us to look for other things. Bigger pictures. To pursue goals and dreams and trust our own engagement and passion. All things I needed to hear.

As a mother and a parent in general, it is so easy to get lost in all the little things. In the daily duties, in unhealthy patterns that are so hard to break out of, in the things you need to do, before you get to the things, you want to do. It’s so easy to let yet another day go by without paying attention to other things, than the ones, that makes our everyday life run smooth. When did I last read a poem to my children? When did I last play them a song that I used to love when I was young?

I have always found it important to consider, what I want to pass onto my children. What I want them to remember from their childhood. What I want them to carry with them, in their lives. I’ll never be able to turn them into amazing chefs, teach them how to do their own taxes or grow up in a house of calm and quiet.

But I want to teach them to appreciate art. To be able to see the beauty in the written word, in all kinds of music, in a simple drawing. I want to teach them to be open to good and bad, that life is not black and white but comes in so many scales of grey and that adventures await out there, as long as you don’t get stuck up in other peoples expectations and thoughts of you. I want to teach them to forgive and listen and give second chances, apologize and try again and to believe in their passion.

Like any other mother, I’m going to start in the small. By spending 30 minutes one afternoon a week reading poems instead of asking them to go play, do their homework or let them watch i-pad. By visiting a museum a month, by telling one sister to apologize to the other or us when she’s doing something wrong and for us to do the same to our kids and each other. By looking at their drawings and ask questions about them instead of just telling them that they are beautiful and by telling them about our heroes, about women like Patti Smith, Frida Kahlo, Simone Beauvoir and Coco Chanel. By showing them our passions so later on, they can go out and find their own.

P.S Do you know this series of children’s books? we have just a few of them, and they’re a great way to teach children about some very inspiring women.

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