I had a bad morning the other day. Something unexpected happened, and in the span of five minutes, my future unraveled, my schemes died, and the only way forward seemed straight off a cliff. In other words, I had to change my plans. On the drive to school, I told my daughter what was going on and how it could affect her. I said this while I was driving in circles, making wrong turns and getting lost. She was quiet and let me be. At midday I got a text from her.
What are you going to do?
I don’t know, I replied.
Just do what you need to do. I will support you.
This is where I might congratulate myself for raising such a wise and compassionate child, with the emotional intelligence and resilience instilled by conscious parenting, who returns the unconditional love and acceptance I’ve given her.
Only she isn’t, because I don’t.
She doesn’t speak to me as I have spoken to her; she speaks to me as she wishes I would speak to her. She doesn’t mirror who I am, she shows me a person I can become. And if I am the slightest bit charitable in my recollections, I must concede that she has been doing this all along with clear-eyed consolations.
It’s not always going to be easy.
Everyone makes mistakes.
I never get mad when you don’t do your best.
Everything happens when you don’t expect it.
By fair assessment, I am only half the parent she is, and she is only half the child I perceive her to be. I can’t parcel the roles out one way or the other. I only know that in the midst of a dark and lonely trial, my pain is shattered by an innocent utterance, and life is born anew.
The life of a mother is the life of a child: you are two blossoms on a single branch. One more thing someone said to me once.
To my dear mother and all mothers before, to my daughter and all daughters to come, I leave this promise and conviction: Your babies will be okay. Together we find the way.
Just in time, there are copies of Momma Zen on giveaway here.