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Guest Post by Frances Rae – Parenting With Trauma

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The Belle Jar

by Frances Rae

In the five and a half years that she’s been alive, I’ve been saying that the older my daughter gets, the easier it is to parent her. She’s constantly developing more cognitive abilities to rationalize and socialize and become more independent. Aside from things like the fact that now she can fix herself a snack or a simple meal, dress herself, and play alone for short periods of time, we can also have much more calm and respectful conversations when we disagree on things like bedtime, how much candy to eat, how long we can stay at the park, etc.

Naturally, with her being five, we still encounter our share of unresolvable disagreements and strong emotions. Hell, I think those are fair things to expect from people of any age. But since she is five, she doesn’t have all the skills yet to deal with those things…

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Quiet and White

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The woods are quiet this time of year.  The snow falls deeply, muffling what noise there is. There is no wind,  no bird calls, no ghostly whispers in the dark as the trees stand sentinel. It is peaceful and, with the peace, comes the swelling of love for what gifts the woods provide. Last winter was one of cold, famine, and heartache.  This begins as one filled with plenty, warmth, and joy.

The trees of the woods are scarred and aged by the myriad changes that rampaged through it last year but this year begins calm and the woods have begun to heal.  The peace and quiet, the empty silence gives these old trees time to deal with wounds that once seemed too deep to ever heal. Mayhaps when the fierce howling chill of true winter is upon them they will have healed enough to silence their creaks and moans.

For now they are content to be naked,  together,  blanketed in white and quiet.  There will be plenty of time for the noise of wind and water,  animal and antler,  ghost and goblin later…

“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful…”