Sweet baby giraffe- this pictures brings out some serious "awe" in me.
I know many parents who feel an unbreakable bond with their children. Writing about this is not new, but I do want to explore it for a minute. Seven years ago, I became a step mother and a mother within a few months. I felt a rush of emotions about these new roles and that rush hasn't gone away. However, the emotions were alone in flowing with the changes. My mind and body took much more time to get a hold of the situation. Sometimes I would embrace the tears of overwhelming love and in the next breath desperately try to control everything. Being a mother of two children is the most vulnerable experience I've lived. Deciding which food is healthiest, which choices are theirs to make and which are mine, how to redirect them when they are out of bounds, and how to support them when they are emotionally hurting are all incredible responsibilities which leaves me feeling quite vulnerable. For me, this vulnerability is a direct flight to wanting to control anything and everything. Throughout the years, I've learned that "controlling everything" is my cry for confidence. Let me explain.
As I see it, responsibility for the people for whom I feel the deepest love leads to vulnerability, which leads me to want to take control, which gives me the illusion of knowing exactly what the outcome will be, which leads to a more confident feeling ......no more vulnerability, right? Not really! When I do this, I don't feel authentic or joyful. And it just doesn't feel comfortable. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and willing to learn, makes room for connection with my children.
My friend, Barbara, asks me "who am I to argue with God?" I've never won an argument with God before, but sometimes I try and try again. Mistakenly, sometimes it seems that my responsibility as a mother requires me to control it all. But I am not in control of much other than bed time and our dinner menu. My children's lives are theirs, and I am grateful that we share a home and our lives together. After all, I'm still growing up too. Just like they are. I have bills and a schedule, but I still learn about life, the same as they do. And the most glorious part is that my husband, 2 children and I are living our lives together: side by side. With my husband and I as our children's guide, we make a strong family.
It's been a seven year process of developing myself as a mother. The relationship between me and my children has taught me about ease, compassion, courage and grace. It is like holding up a mirror to my spirituality, making requests of my growth at every moment.
I caption this photo with "An incredible, intimate connection that will last a lifetime."