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JennKids9.30With parenthood, there is a new vocabulary to learn and master. From conversations with pediatricians, to baby yoga poses, to ways to describe newborn poop. There is a never ending learning curve to parenthood that is unrelenting in the newness and energy. One concept that was new to me in parenthood is this idea of "self care". Before becoming a parent, I was able to get a hair cut when I wanted, have plenty of time in the shower, and go for a run before work. Now, months pass the moment of "a hair cut would be nice" to a much overdue barely able to squeeze it in sitting still for a period of time while someone cuts my hair. This past Mother's Day, I asked for the morning hours of a Saturday to attend a retreat. It was amazing! The focus was on our bodies, hearts, and minds through the lense of parenthood and all that it takes. The retreat was with Emerge Yoga. While there, we had 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet and I found, nestled in myself, a poem that had been growing for 6 years:

ROOTS

You first set roots
in my womb
building your worlds to nourish and grow

Limbs grow long and strong
reaching to God - to love
Balancing on the edges
of beginnings

The bark you grow
will protect and crack
so that
bruised and bit
you still
triumph against gravity
drawing nourishment from air, sun and soil

Become a most
amazing you
once linked to me
now free
to be!

By Jennifer Hill

The time spent at the Nurture Yourself, Nurture Your Family retreat in Montpelier with Amy LePage-Hansen reaffirmed that the strains of work, parenting, partnering, and life can be handled with awareness and grace. We practiced ways of finding the constant source of this positive energy by noticing the beauty of life in small, appreciative and renewing ways. It was a great experience to have time to myself in a community with other moms. It was equally great to witness how much I am enriched by this experience of parenthood and how it has enhanced relationships all around me. May you find moments to nourish yourself so that you can keep on keeping on!

(Jennifer Hill is the librarian at Crossett Brook Middle School)