Room to Grow

Photography by Sarah Elliott

When it comes to our children it is easy to adopt a holistic approach to healthy living—only giving them and wanting for them the absolute best. We put a crazy amount of emphasis on the physical protection of our children but as they grow, as hard as it is, we do need to trust that we have given them the tools to make wise decisions, and enact respectful boundaries. It is so important to put real trust in them, for this is how they know they are trusted. I am at this crazy crossroads of parenting. Jivan turned 16 last month and it is really hard, not gonna lie, to let go of the control I once had over his world. He needs his autonomy, he needs to not have me there every second to help guide his decisions—to make sure he completed his homework, to nag him about scheduling time with his dean, or to prompt him to check if he needs tutoring next week in preparation for the upcoming test—the one I know he has. But doing everything for him actually teaches him I do not believe he has it within himself to do these minor tasks—you know, the ones that actually turn into major lifelong habits and confidence-building successes. Man, do I battle every second within the confines of my own brain to not remind him of the minutia. I legitimately need to bite my tongue each night to not say, “remember to brush your teeth”.

Mama takes control where she can, and hopefully I am instilling organic consciousness within Jivan to help him make healthy habits on a daily basis.

I have raised a teenager who has his own thoughts, ideas, and discipline. Or lack thereof. I choose to have faith that I did my job even if he’s not doing “it” precisely the way I want him to do it. He suddenly eats Fruity Pebbles—come on now, J, I raised your palate better than that. But I need to pick my battles. I choose to battle when I find a Juul pod as opposed to when I find Snapple bottle or Twizzler packages crumpled up in his room. This is reality. Every day, every second, I am actively a parent—choosing when to insert myself and when to retreat and give him some space to make a mistake and hopefully learn from it.

Nevertheless, when I cook for him you better believe there will always be a nutrient-rich veg. And when I make a decision for his bedroom, I aim to protect him from the subtle but potentially-serious consequences of exposure to toxic chemicals. Jivan’s bedroom and bathroom may be highly-teenage-appropriate, with a clean and modern-ish Scandinavian aesthetic complete with the requested tones of grey and black, a thumping sound system, turntables, his PS4, and a slouchy gaming chair. But it is also thoughtfully-designed with a plush, organic Naturepedic EOS Pillow Top mattress and organic slate Coyuchi Cloud Loom towels, plus charcoal Coyuchi Linen Chambray sheeting and the corresponding duvet, all sitting upon a sleek platform bed. The Naturepedic mattress is mindfully made, utilising fair labor practices, high-quality craftsmanship, and breathable fabrics and fillings. The brand aims to cut out all the questionable chemicals. In place of GMOs, harmful glues, and synthetic latex rubber are simple, fine materials like organic cotton and organic wool. The Coyuchi linens are organically grown, spun from French flax, and are supple and sensitive-skin-friendly. So when Jivan plays Fortnite for an ungodly amount of hours in his bedroom, at least I know he’s nestled on natural fibers, hehe!

Mama takes control where she can, and hopefully I am instilling organic consciousness within Jivan to help him make healthy habits on a daily basis.

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Necessary Objects

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