I loved having babies. I loved the relative simplicity of that chapter of parenting. Such a physically raw time, yes, wow; literally growing their bodies from my own flesh and blood, my milk, my chi, my sleeplessness given, helplessly, to the devoted care of these young mammals.
But I loved how my job then was to just feed them my heart, carry them close, nurture their innate intelligence by assuming their brilliance, speak to them of love and truth, revel in their innocence, keeping them clean and warm and fed. I miss those babies; that cozy, plump, fleshy time of sweet-smelling intimacy and shining new love.
But now, now with my children almost 10 and 6 years old, it’s a whole new endeavor. No longer about feeding them my golden-breasted heart-milk, it’s more about getting out of the way of their feeding of their own hearts. It’s about fanning the flames of their growing passions; about leading them to the teachers and mentors and experiences (and animals!) that can bless them in ways I cannot. It’s about bowing, out of the way, while keeping my arms clasped loosely around them, ready to embrace them tight and close at a moment’s notice.
And often, it’s about stretching open their minds and hearts to see in new ways, inviting empathy and compassion, or about praising the wisdom of their original vision, the grace of their inspired gesture, the kindness in their word or deed. Or, it’s about guiding them towards a deepening generosity, away from the intrinsic narcissistic tendency and towards the many opportunities to give, to share, to live in love.
So often it’s about the humbling failures exposed in my own humanness; the endless chances we are given to model an appropriate dance with shame and remorse, apology and forgiveness, self-compassion and a return to presence.Wound and repair, wound and repair. Evolving through it all.
So often it’s about receiving their ruthless mirroring, their reflections; it’s about listening, deeply~ to what they are saying and what they are not saying, and beckoning to the best of our ability the most truthful, sacred relations with our children, praying that the foundation of mutual respect we lay down now will sustain us all through the coming throes of adolescence.
What a mystery~ to witness, experience, cherish, and revel in the evolution of relationship. I believe it is one of the main reasons we come here, to this world, human, like this: to relate, to evolve in relation to one another, in our love, need, attachment and vulnerability. To break one another’s hearts wider open, to stretch and test one another along the path of love.
For all my mistakes and shortcomings as a mother, this much I can attest to with certainty and confidence: heart-fed children become heart-led people. And heart-led people are just what our world is needing most. <3