It's no secret that our children serve to be some of our greatest teachers. I also believe that they serve to show us the reflective surface of our lives, ourselves, and where we are truly at, as my son did last week.
For me, growing up meant doing as I was told, end of story. There was no expression of individuality, no encouragement to figure out who I was or express my opinions. There's no blame here, no one knew these things themselves so how could they have taught them? I have made some good choices with my son and some really unfortunate choices. One of the good choices I have made with him, which does sometimes bite me in the ass, is that I have encouraged an expression of individuality. I have encouraged him to express his opinion and tell me how he feels about things, even if I might not like it.
I went outside, one sprinkling day last week, to get him to come inside to do is kitchen chores. He had been asked to come in to do it twice already. He stood outside in the sprinkling rain looking out towards the mountains as I walked up to him, calling his name. I told him that it had been enough time and he needed to come in to do his kitchen chores. He told me that he was doing something that was "energetically important" and he wanted to finish it and he would be right in. I told him that he would have to finish what he was doing after his chores.
Now, I have taught him about energy. I have taught him the importance of working through and clearing out the negativity, of releasing blocks, of healthy energy maintenance. Yet, as I stood there feeling the energy of him standing his ground, I found myself pushing against him, pushing against his authentic self and certainly not being my authentic self. I felt in my body that what I was saying was not a match with who I really am. I told him he shouldn't have started doing that knowing that he had chores to do, that he should have planned better, who the hell was even talking because it didn't feel like me. And he felt it as he told me, very calmly but most certainly confused, that what I was saying wasn't logical. He was right, he was doing self-care that was important and he was only asking for five or ten more minutes, but I kept going. As I walked away, telling him to come inside, he very calmly told me that what he was doing was important and he was going to finish and them come in.
I should have celebrated his decision but I did not. I stormed inside, took his 3DS and went downstairs all sorts of pissed off. But why? "Tia," I said, "what is it that you are really upset about?" As I sat with it I realized what it was that truly upset me, my child had showed me the reflective surface of who I was in relationship to who I desire to be, and I did not like what I saw. I was really angry because he had the balls to stand his ground and do what was important self-care, regardless of what I thought, and I did not have the courage to do that. The truth is that I desire to make myself a priority and I have grown within this desire, but I am not anywhere near where I'd like to be. Yet, at 14 years old, my son had the courage to do it and he did it in a calm way.
The next morning, as soon as he woke up, I went to him and apologized and told him I was wrong. I told him the real reason I was upset and that I was so very proud of him for taking care of himself and his energy, and for making it a priority. I told him that while it was my intention to teach him that, and I had in words, that I knew I hadn't been a very good model of it. He said that the whole situation did confuse him because he knows me and knows that I would usually be understanding of something like that. He also said, "You taught me well."
I am so proud of him and so very inspired by his actions. I am grateful that he put up that mirror and that I looked at it and sat with it and saw the gift in it. Self-care...I would like to have a self-care practice, to put myself and my dreams as a top of my list priority in my life. The string of events that helped me to delve deeper into that very subject since that interaction, were amazing. I'm taking steps. I love the beautiful, sometimes seemingly random but not truly random, string of moments that lead us to exactly where we are supposed to be or to exactly what we need to grow through. My son is amazing and I am grateful for the journey we've have been able to embark upon together. And it felt good to see that he does listen, he is learning and he's learning the important stuff, and teaching me important stuff as well.
May you be blessed with love and light,