I’m raising my daughter to have confidence in her autonomy, to develop inner strength and integrity, to trust in her abilities, and to love herself.
It’s not easy.
Kids can be cruel, adults can be apathetic or abuse their power, and our materialistic society is fixated on fitting in and showing off. There is so much to navigate and explain.
We’re working to accept that life is what it is – it’s not that “bad” things happen to “good” people, it’s simply that shit happens. Period. There are no guarantees, even when it comes to what we believe is the way things “should” be. All we can do is our best, and try to be kind to ourselves and to others.
We’re learning the tricky balance of exercising independence and knowing when to ask for help, and to receive aid graciously.
We’re learning that vulnerability requires courage and strength, and so does compassion.
My job is to help my daughter walk her own path without micromanaging her process – but I struggle with the paradox of needing to let her learn and grow, and wanting to shield her from assholes who may hurt her and other hard parts of life.
How can I keep her innocent? (I can’t.)
How can I keep her safe? (I can’t.)
How can I accept this lack of control? (I have to, or we’ll both suffer.)
Maybe the hardest part of being a mother is knowing that the human being that was once completely dependent on me, that I would do anything to protect, is destined to disconnect from our symbiosis – to evolve, manifest, and move beyond – and that I can control little to nothing when it comes to what’s in store for my precious creation.
I’ll probably never be ok with this… but I will continue to love her, listen to her, and support her as she forges an identity; a life; a path of her own.
(I may or may not be lurking in the shadows close, but not too close, in case she needs me…)