Teach less, learn more
Updated: Mar 2
Parents often say things like 'my child is my everything, he is the sunshine in my life, the love of my life, I would do anything and everything for my child'.
Honestly, I wouldn't. Having and raising my children is the biggest and most important thing I have and will ever do in my life. But they are not my everything. They're not even 'mine' really. They're not my greatest love. That would be my freedom, if anything. And of all the humans definitely my husband.
They are certainly not the sunshine(s) of my life. That is a lot to expect from a child, really. That he or she will continue to shine for you. Make you feel good and worthy and needed, acomplished and loved. I think that's just too much. No one can do that for you. No one should. Most certainly not your child. At least not without losing himself.
Some of my children were born with quite a few medical issues, quite heavy issues. My first few children, to be more precise. And I do not believe that to be a coincidence. I've had a lot of my own personal unresolved issues at the time and facing fear, pain and everyday struggles that raising such 'imperfect' children brought, gave me an amazing opportunity to face my own deeply buried fears and pain.
When my third child, a beautiful little girl, was 14 months old, she had a surgery to remove an innate tumor. We didn't know wheather it was malignant or benign and the surgeon didn't really know whether she would be able to remove it. I felt like I wanted to be paralysed by fear, but I also didn't want that to be the last thing she will feel from me. So right before the surgery I peacefully sat with her in my arms, I looked at that beautiful little face, and I smiled. I knew there was a possibility I would never hold her like that again. And there and then I realised that it is not even my right to expect that. The little girl in my arms is not here for me, it is her life she is living. And it is not for me to judge how or how long she will live that life. It is my job to hold her for as long as she needs me and as long as I can. But it is her life, her struggle and I have no right to expect she will live it to make me happy. So I made peace with the possibility I will never see her walk, talk, run, climb, go to school or fall in love. The mere idea of it hurt like hell. And at the same time I was grateful that I can hold her and make sure she feels everything is ok. However it is, it's ok. It was the biggest lesson of my life. I began to learn what love is. Letting go, setting free.
Many years and many more issues later, she is a very brave and assertive little lady that drives me insane every single day. I couldn't be more proud of her. I will also never forget that every day I get to take care of my children is a bonus gift. Not just that child, every child. I think we should all be a lot more aware of that. Less focused on how much we want to love them and more aware of who they are and want to be. Grateful we have the front row ticket to watch them learn, play, struggle and grow. We should teach less, direct less, observe more and realise how much we have to learn from them.