Parenting Solo: Ripples in the Water PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michelle Greenlee Harris, Columnist   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 09:08

Some days I think I’m going crazy, but every now and then - I’m sure of it. I started having visions as a youngster. Ok, stop stretching your eyes and backing away– I didn’t say I saw pink elephants and heard voices. I said I see things. As in I have always had a vivid imagination.

The difference now is that I can take steps to make the things I see in my dreams come true. Sound like a Hallmark card? Not really. The reality of being a visionary is you see things that other people can’t see. Literally, things that have not been created yet, are very real to you, but you may be the only one around who can see them. Sometimes that sucks.

For instance, when I look at water, I see patterns. You know -in the ripples on the water. I live on the edge of a lake just so I can see when the water is moving. Somehow it calms me and stirs my heart at the same time. Why am I telling you this? I don’t know. I’ve just learned that life is too short to be unhappy, so you really need to know what moves you.

Something as simple as a ripple on a lake is one of the things that makes me smile. What life lessons could I learn from that simple movement? A lot actually.

A basic physics lesson about the movement of water showed me several things that I can expand into positive messages to pass along to the next generation. For instance, even still waters have some movement. I always tell my daughter that everybody has something going on. Just because you can’t see the movement doesn’t mean there isn’t something happening below the surface.

When movement does happen in life, and on the water, it is for two reasons: you made something happen or something happened to you. The lake will move if I throw a stone into it. Science says there is an energy transfer when the rock hits the water. That energy takes the form of the ripples on the surface. I need to make some things happen for the Parenting Solo movement so I better find some good size stones.

Water also moves is when the wind blows. Something outside the lake is pushing it and making it move. The Parenting Solo conference left me with a few bills that need to be paid. At first I resented the challenge but now I see it as wind - outside pressure on me, making me move.

Once a ripple effect starts, it causes secondary ripples that just keep on going. Have you noticed that the things we do in life are the exact same way? Once we do something – good or bad – a ripple effect starts and other lives are affected. Its kind of exciting, really. The things we do, affecting other lives. It happens anyway so we might as well affect people’s lives for the better, don’t you think?

Otis Redding recorded one of my favorite classic songs "Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay" in 1967. It was completed just days before he was killed when his plane crashed into a lake just outside Madison Wisconsin. He wrote the lyrics while sitting on a houseboat in Sausalito, California. Talk about a lasting legacy. A song that was written and recorded before I was even born has spanned a generation and continues to move hearts, including mine. That’s a ripple effect. That’s what I want to do.

Part of being a parent is helping our children make sense of this life. To me, life only makes sense when you find your purpose. Some times you have to move some things to find what you’re looking for. Like throwing a stone in the water.