As the seasons tick by I am amazed that some of the things that previously seemed invaluable to our family’s learning don’t seem to be present any more. Or the favorite conversations that used to take place no longer do. When the old ways are forced on again, sometimes it “works” and sometimes what was beautiful and spontaneous has become a chore. Upon reflection, it is easy to see the new growth that is taking place instead. While there are some things that are stable (like Mass every Sunday, prayer before meals, helping out and using a kind tone with each other) for many other things, “surfing” seems to be the best way to bring just the right thing at a high point or paddle people along at a low point. I find this to be true in the classroom as well as the family. If I keep the end goal in mind, I can grab hold of whatever is appropriate at the time to help us successfully ride the waves of life, emotion and development. Interestingly, St. Teresa of Avila indicates that this also seems to be true of our own souls. That in the spiritual life, listening to the waves and tide of the Holy Spirit and the growth of our inner being is as important if not more than holding to this practice or to that.