Unconditional

Unconditional

Several weeks ago, one night at bedtime, my son Ezra (7) got overly exhausted and intensely triggered, and in his fury he yelled at me, viciously: “You aren’t even my MOM!!” And then, fuming, spitting, he said: “You are such a fucking!!”

I felt astonishingly calm in the face of his foul-mouthed rage. In fact, I found myself earnestly reflective in the mirror of his feedback, thinking to myself: Hm….? Yep. Sometimes I really sort of am a fucking.

I ran him a bath, insisted he get in it, much to his incredulous horror, and then helped him to his bed, while he continued to lash out,  screaming at me to stay away from him. “You are NOT my mom!” he said a few times. And~ “Don’t you even touch me!”

I said things like: “I will give you space.”
​And: “I AM your mom, and I love you very much even when you’re so angry at me.”

He said: “No. No you aren’t and NO YOU DON’T. And I DON’T love you!”

I sat quietly on the couch in the living room, about 15 feet from his bed, honoring his expressed desire for space, and sadly listened to him sob himself to sleep. My heart ached to feel his pain, and my own grief in the face of such disconnect.

Once, I called out to him: “Oh Ezra~ can I please hold you and comfort you now? I don’t want you to go to sleep so upset.” He growled between his sobs: “NO! You cannot!”

And so he fell asleep, like that. Alone, angry, sad.
It felt like the end of an era.
For the first time, in all his 7 years and 3 months of life, he was so mad at me he didn’t even want to make up. He didn’t even want to be comforted.
He didn’t want my touch, my hands, my heart, my voice.
No more baby to whom I could offer my soothing love.
No longer was I the sun, moon and the stars who could do no wrong. Just a fucking.

After he had fallen asleep I snuck into his bedroom and slipped a huge crystal under his covers, next to his heart. Then I carefully lay down beside him, spooning him, filling him with my love. I listened to his shuddery breath~ still unwinding emotion even in his sleep.
I kissed the back of his heart and the top of his damp, curly head.
I whispered into his sleeping ear how dearly I treasure him.

I vowed to love him ever-more-deeply, through all the fights we would ever have in our shared lifetime. I vowed to never lose sight of the amazing heart he is. This amazing, passionate, fierce and sensitive soul that he is. I vowed to let all of our interactions, especially the challenging ones, only deepen this love that I serve.

The next morning, as I lay in my bed, just barely awake, my eyes still closed, I felt Ezra crawl into bed with me and move his body close up into my back, spooning me, wrapping his little arm around me. I could hear the weight in his breath, and could feel his tender heart, pulsing with remorse. We lay quietly together, in the spacious morning silence.

Finally I said softly, with openness: “Good morning Beautiful Boy.”

And he said all in one whispery breath: “I’m really, really sorry Mama. Sorry I had a big fit at bedtime and told you you weren’t my mom.”

I turned around to face him and gathered him into my arms, kissing his forehead.
​I said: “You were really angry. Sometimes when we are angry we say things we wish we didn’t. I know that we always love each other, even when we are angry. I always know the truth of your heart.”

He nodded, and pressed his face into my chest, sighing with relief.
He said: “I DO ALWAYS love you Mom.”
And I said: “Yes, Love. We always love.”

Help Me to Stay in the Wonder

Help Me to Stay in the Wonder

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My little boy only wants Sanskrit mantras sung to him as he falls asleep. “Please Mama, sing me the Sanskrit ones?” he says, as he scoots back his 7 year old body into my spooning embrace, finding his trustworthy bridge into  dream.

My little budding woman-child wants to talk and talk and talk, cozied in close together under her covers in the dark of her room, telling me everything she feels and fears and longs for. She hands me all of her burdens, sometimes tearfully, and all of her hopes, and I open the palms of my heart as wide as I can to receive them all.

And then, alone in the night of my home, I wash the dishes again.
I work my way through the stack of bills.

I light a candle, sit down before the altar, and dive into the heart of flame~ noticing with awe how it rises with such bold elegance to fill its own light; noticing how sweetly eager it is to shine.

Exhausted, I slip under the luscious sheets of my own bed, softly pressing my curves into the waiting arms of quiet.

Oh these precious times. Dear God help me to treasure them. Help me to stay awake enough to keep opening to this pulse of Grace inside it all. Help me to cherish even the loneliness that surfaces here, the resistance to mundane tedium, the agitation and throb of wanting more.

Dearest Holy One, help me to stay in the wonder.

Help me to stay in the wonder while navigating the throes of density and traffic, the tight squeeze of time, the heat of hormones and the noise of squabbling siblings. Help me to stay in the wonder within this furrowed brow of fried nerves and tired bones.

Help me, please, to stay in the wonder.

Thank you Life.
Thank you for this exquisite moment, never before breathed. Thank you for this chance to love these young ones, and revel in the humbling complexity of human relating.

Thank you for the small moments, Life.

The unspeakable sensation of my son’s soft, cool cheek as I kiss him goodbye at school. That vast sky of unfathomable love between his plump cheek and my devoted lips. That adorable way he tosses with confidence “See ya!” into the space as he takes off, like a rocket, towards his own becoming.

Thank you for that mastered toss of my daughter’s long, magenta-streaked hair over her shoulder; that sharp, perfectly dismissive look in her eye, like a slap to my heart, as she begins to push me away in moments, needing to discover her own distinct creation. Thank you for this scary ache of loss and faithful deepening of love we discover as we transition into a brand new way together.

Thank you so much, Beloved One, for that moment when the hot water in the shower touches the waiting skin of my chest, my throat, the crown of my curly head. My loving hands to my momentary face~ so tender, this gesture.

And the moment~ oh!~ when I see this tiny, blue-feathered hummingbird land~ just for a heartbeat~ in the tree outside my window. Thank you for the creatures of the earth~ what bright joy they bring to our weariness.

And thank you Rain, for the precious gift of Green~ returning once again to my beloved California hillsides. Thank you for filling the wells; for feeding the hungry riverbeds and thirsty soil.

Thank you for this first morning sip of hot, creamy tea~ what a pleasure this gives me.

And how I love the old, white-bearded Irishman I had never seen before, who boldly lifted my chin tenderly in the café this morning to meet his eyes, saying “don’t you lose that smile, dear~ it’s beautiful!” Thank you for the intimate realness and casual sacredness that passes between humans in moments; the simple way this tends to our faith.

Thank you God, for the sweetness of pure stillness, of wantless wholeness, the unquestionable home of Truth that celebrates itself in the bottomless depths of my own heart.

Thank you for “thank you;” for the wisdom of knowing that suffering finds no room inside a breath of gratitude.

Thank you for the wonder, Life.
I receive you; I bow.
I vow to keep finding my deeper yes to you.
I truly love you.
I truly love.

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