By LOYLA LOUVIS
For Montclair Local
In “Mother Matters,” parenting and life coach Loyla Louvis, AACC, provides parenting tips. She is dedicated to eliminating frustration in the parenting journey by customizing solutions to fit the uniqueness of each family. A mother of four children, she is experienced
with single parenting, remarriage, home education, mentoring and teaching. Louvis runs Mothers in Training LLC, and is a certified professional parenting consultant/coach. More info can be found at Mothersintraining.org.
The casual glance across a tree-lined horizon this October reveals a showcase of stunning color. Crisp pops of yellow, green, gold and brown speckle treetops as autumn readies for shorter days and colder nights. This spectacular exhibit unfolds as autumn gently whispers that change is underway.
One of the fascinations of this season is how the deciduous tree transforms from a lush head of greenery to a stark crown of barren branches. In spite of the dramatic shift, there is a beauty in the transition that delights onlookers of every age.
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A closer look at this seasonal behavior reveals a fascinating parallel between the deciduous tree and the transitions in motherhood. Let us examine the science behind this beautiful fall transformation to uncover autumn’s wisdom for the parenting journey:
The tree provides for its leaves. At every stage of growth, the tree will direct energy toward the development of its leaves and position them toward sunlight. Similarly, a mother pours her energy into the development of her little one and positions her child to take in all that a pleasant environment can provide.
The leaves provide for the tree. The leaves absorb light and energy which the sun provides, along with water and carbon dioxide. The leaves convert nature’s resources into chlorophyll which nourishes the tree. Likewise, a child absorbs all the light, energy, and natural resources which the environment offers and transforms it into something which nourishes the soul of a mother. There is a mutual exchange of enrichment.
The climate changes the relationship. When the sun can no longer offer sufficient light and energy in a day, the leaves cannot produce enough chlorophyll to feed the tree. The foliage will slowly stop providing fuel for the tree. Similarly, a child’s environment changes over time. In response to that change, a maturing child will turn his energy away from his mother’s interests in pursuit of new opportunities. Mom must acclimate to a changing climate in the parent/child relationship.
The tree finds sustenance below. As the leaves shut down chlorophyll production, the tree must retreat down into its roots to pull up nourishment from the ground. A new source of nutrition buried deep down must carry the tree through the winter months. Likewise, as a child moves toward independence, a mother must slowly expect less from the attachment to her child. She must shift to the roots of her own identity to sustain her in a new season of motherhood.
The leaves transform and release. As the tree consumes the last of green chlorophyll, the leaves reveal various shades of color not previously visible. When this beautiful phenomenon is complete, the tree releases its leaves. Similarly, as maturity becomes full independence, the mother can finally see all the beauty fully revealed in her adult child. Mom must release her right to have her child’s time, energy, and attention.
This autumn spectacle teaches how to go through the changes in the parenting journey with grace and elegance. Like the tree, which no longer clings to its leaves, a mother must release her child little by little and find sustenance deep down in her roots. When maturity reaches fullness in a child, a beauty emerges which signals it is time to let go and embrace the motherly advice of autumn.