I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. The passage of time. How much time we have. How little time we have.
It’s the nondual truth that we have both all the time in the world and only this present moment now. Thinking about how important it is to be present in this now-moment, not to make it “count,” rather to savor it, enjoy it, have those around me savoring and enjoying.
As I talked about in my newsletter this week, we are moving into our summer rhythm. Our days, while full, have also slowed down. There isn’t a need to be anywhere by any certain time. We can spend the day at home, sitting out in the sun when it’s out or curled up cuddling, reading books or watching tv if it’s not. There’s not a rush to get any particular meal on the table by any certain time and yet we always manage eat together. One moment seems to endlessly roll into the next in an easy fashion that keeps us all calm and at peace.
Except those moments that don’t, of course. Those moments where frustration presents itself for whatever reasons and we work through it, finding our centers, getting ourselves grounded again in the beauty and love that we share.
Focusing on connection has been my priority for this year and it has come through in so many amazing ways. I’m more connected to myself and to the present moment, which leads me to being more connected to those I share my life with. I feel the deep connections with my daughter, husband and close friends, growing and expanding. I’m finding myself more at peace with my life, despite the “hardships” we are facing. I have a trust in the Universe that we are all going to be just fine, a trust that grows deeper each day.
I’m not finding myself focused on the future or worried about the details of how everything will work itself out. I simply know it will. I do what I can to move forward and then I release the attempts at control over the things that are not in my power to do anything about. This release is so healing.
Releasing and moving into Trust, that is what these last few months have been for me. And it’s been amazing.
On Sunday, after seeing her overflowing Easter basket when she woke up, which included a 2-foot chocolate bunny, our daughter announced “You and daddy are the Easter Bunny!” Nick and I were in shock and asked her why she thought that and said things like “Would mama and daddy ever buy you that much candy at once??” all of which she gave a very narrow eyed knowing look to. We didn’t initially fess up to anything. We both want the magic of the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus to last as long as possible. We both enjoy the beauty of it all, of doing something extra special for our girl and not taking the credit. I hoped the conversation was dropped, with Nick and I neither admitting or denying anything.
Then in the car on the way to my cousin’s for the annual Easter egg hunt and brunch, she asked if her Daddy and I were the Easter Bunny. I again asked her why she thought that and we discussed it. She had That Look in her eye — that look that says “I’m trusting you to tell me the truth. I’m ready for the truth” and so I admitted that yes, her Daddy and I are the Easter Bunny. I didn’t say anything about the Tooth Fairy or Santa. To be fair, she didn’t ask about them and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there in six months or so.
Reality sunk in. My baby is growing up. She turns six next week and I’m filled with a mixture of joy, awe and sadness. The mystery of the Easter Bunny is solved and I realized in talking with Nick later that it was around this same age that I figured out that Santa wasn’t real, though in a very painful way, which involved my parents refusing to be honest with me and even threatening that Santa wouldn’t come if I didn’t believe.
I didn’t talk with my girl about the magic of the holidays and what the Easter Bunny (or Santa or the Tooth Fairy) represent to me or to her Daddy. We didn’t get into that conversation, however I’m sure we will at some point.
What was important on Sunday was that, when I looked in my girl’s eyes and saw how much she wanted and needed the Truth, I gave it to her. I’ve accepted that my child is both a little girl and growing into a very young woman. While only almost six, those pre-teen and then teen years do not seem so far away. The first six years of her life have been filled with Nick and me building strong attachment bonds with her, with each other and keeping open doorways for communication. The next six years will be filled with the same, as will the six after that and six after that and so on.
I’ve realized that what is key, what is most important is recognizing her individuality. Knowing that her childhood is nothing like mine. Knowing that I have learned much from the painful lessons of the relationship with my own mom. Knowing I am studying, for a career, about child development, attachment and families. Knowing I have tools and practices that were never available to my own mom and thereby knowing I will not follow in her footsteps.
My baby is growing up. She’s a child now. There’s no denying it. In the way she talks, her interests, how she can figure it all out. She’s independent, confident and has an inner spark and glow in her eyes that had left my own eyes by her age.
And while she is growing up into this beautiful person, and while she is no longer literally a baby, she will always be my baby. I will always be here for her when she wants or needs me. I will love her beyond the end of our days. I will always be on her side. She’s my girl.
One of the songs I sing to her at bedtime is You are My Sunshine (with my own lyrics). The closing line is “I love you more and more every day.” It’s true. Every day I love my girl a little more than the day before and every day I can’t imagine how I could love her more without my heart literally bursting. Yet every day I do. Every day.
Understanding and acknowledging and accepting her individuality, her personhood has been a huge part of our parenting. Treating her with respect. Allowing her to be a child while never treating her as if she is less because of her age. Parenting this way is hard, it requires me to dig deep almost daily and face my own past, my own fears with bravery and grace and a willingness to own my shit and grow as a person. It’s a tall order and some days I’m better at it than others. Some days are filled with apologies, tears and repairing measures while others are filled with laughter, connection and joy.
And so my girl grows from a little girl to a big girl. And our journey continues…
My mindfulness practice has had the greatest impact on my ability to be the parent I want to be. I want to share this practice, and the tools I’ve found and developed with it with everyone who is ready to grow into the person your Soul is calling you to be. My Grounding in Grace e-course is filled with mindfulness exercises as well as reflection and soul work. And I’m very excited about the video prompts I’ve been working on for this course. Because I strongly believe that to bring peace to the world we must start in our home, and because I so deeply do not want finances to prevent a single person from taking this course if she or he is ready, the program is Pay-What-Feels-Good and I also have scholarships available. For more information about the course and to register click here. The course starts on April 9th and runs for 30 days. I would love to have you join the amazing community that is growing around this program.
To my ancestral mamas,
I forgive you.
I forgive you for being human. I forgive you for clinging to your own hurt, terrified and lonely little girls inside your souls. I forgive you for not being able to pass on the love, the acceptance, the connection, the beauty that you wanted for your daughters, for yourselves.
I forgive you all for thinking you were terrible mothers. I forgive you all for being terrible mothers at times. I forgive you the hurt, the pain, the loneliness that you all passed down, generation after generation, all the way to me.
I send you love. I release the heavy burden you passed down to your daughters because you didn’t know what else to do with it. I’m setting it down for us all.
I send you freedom. All of you I carry not only in my DNA, in my blood, I carry you in soul. As I repair and grow and transform and heal, you do too.
I give to us all a beautiful relationship with my daughter. The pain, the fear, the loneliness no longer serve us. It is time to connect, to bask in the joy and beauty of motherhood, to release the fear of fucking it all up.
I soak in your strength. I bask in your love. Together, we will start to enjoy today, to enjoy our beautiful children, one moment at a time.