Being a mother was all I wanted to do. Babysitting younger cousins in a trail of piggy backs was enough to solidify my girlish hope. I am now a mother of two saplings, one a near teenager. I’ve learnt motherhood is a journey into bits of my own past, and a differentiation process between what is mine to impart, and what is my childrens to discover for themselves. The Covid-19 bubble saw family time redeemed as a fascinating, priceless gift of togetherness. But now we are back in the thick of high school socialisation and a new phase.
As much as I want to hold on to this day with them forever, life is moving forward.
Humans are crazy creatures how we can invent a vivid reality with textures and smells that feels like watching Netflix. But this superpower is not always welcomed. Fear based panic derivatives set off a cortisol chain reaction in a millisecond, and we find ourselves convinced that ‘worse case scenario’ is occurring right now. My anxiety rattles me awake to the present moment, to stop some projected version of future that recklessly thrusts itself centre stage.
I follow the work of Byron Katie who discusses a process of inquiry to investigate the truths and disconnects between what we see in our mind’s eye when in a panic storm, and what is actually happening in the very moment. So often we are dreaming, of why we think Trump is an idiot, of what the world will look like for our kids or of what we will make for dinner. This is what the sages have referred to as the dream, versus being present. I am finding being a mother of a preteen who is fast becoming his own person, eager to grow up, a dynamic lesson in being present. My own fears about raising two exploratory, social men in this world: What will become of them? Will they be safe? Will they thrive? Will they get into drugs? What about when they can drive?!
The mothering, nurturance and protecting of the ducklings who are now out influenced by unknown forces. It is meant to operate that way. They will suffer. They will experience pain. The gifts of insight that we go through to develop character and knowledge.
In this new phase of independence, may I have the grace to stand back and yet always have their back. Allow them to fall, scrap skin and bleed at times, with my heart firmly in place. And being present AF seems my own sanity saver to avoid veering off into some dank alley of anxiety.
On my knees in humble service of this journey.