We moved home at the end of September - that's big news. I should definitely blog about that.
We have three apple trees. We have been having an apple extravaganza. I'd love to post the photos.
We went on holiday to Ibiza. That was brilliant. We were surrounded by orange, olive and fig trees. There were free spirits drumming on the beach. My sister was there. I want to write about it.
But instead I'm going to blog about this. Because it is burning me.
It's about how I want my child to be
but have to daily fight the urge
to control her.
I watch her emerge from her shell.
Chat happily to complete strangers.
Tell them about things which are important to her.
She is sure of their interest.
She does not doubt her value and place in the world.
In a shoe shop last week, I watched her show the assistant how she could
She whirled around, laughing giddily,
Flapping her wings.
She makes sure to tell the neighbours where the ants live.
She implores them to watch out, not to step on them
Do I rejoice in her confidence, her sense of joy and fun, her concern for other beings, her willingness to campaign for what is important to her?
Do I congratulate myself on a job well-done?
Well....only to an extent.
Mostly I felt uncomfortable.
I have an urge to shush her. Just a bit. A lot.
A sense she shouldn't bother people.
I felt expected to control her.
Encourage her to be a little more invisible.
I manage to stop myself.
But it is a struggle.
Now, to clarify, I'm not saying that no parental input is ever needed out in public - if my child was e.g.. clobbering another, I would
But why do I feel the need to control her genuine connections with others?
I have been having psychotherapy recently, and gaining insight that lots of negative patterns of behaviour go back to one thing.
Low self esteem.
And this is where it all begins.
In early childhood, do you remember being controlled so that you didn't bother people?
So that your parents could save face? Were you shushed and urged to fit in?
I know I am not alone.
In music class recently, an amazing 4 year old piped up when the music teacher didn't notice what she had done - "Me, I did it".
Her mother squirmed.
She turned to me to say her daughter always did that now. Showed off.
I sensed and recognised a shame and embarrassment in her.
An urge to stop this behaviour
She said she struggled too - she didn't want to crush her.
There was a lot of love in my childhood, but a lot of dysfunction too. My parents were the products of a childhood where children were seen but not heard.
I think many of us were taught to stay quiet.
Don't show off.
Don't bother people.
Your contribution is not valid.
Your concerns are not important.
Squeeze into the box of expectations.
Yet here I am faced with my child.
Who hasn't been told that.
By her actions she tells the world -
I am here.
I take my place.
I am valued.
I am accepted.
I have a contribution.
And most of all this.
Life is joyful.
And it makes me afraid.
It is uncharted territory.
She deserves the freedom to be herself.
But I must believe that I too deserve the freedom to be myself, before I can truly accept her.
I can't give what I don't have.
This is going to be hard. So hard.
The trip of my lifetime.
This is where it all begins.
So I'm going in.
Setting sail to that unmapped land.
Going on a journey to acceptance.
I don't have a compass.
No touchstones even, to guide my way.
There is no frame of reference for me.
Except my heart, my child, and what I am learning to be true.
I can accept myself
There is space for me.
I am valuable.
I have a contribution to make.
|A pic from Ibiza - see I snuck it in.|