As I was meditating today I was listening to Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” and a thought occurred to me: parenting is very much a waiting process. It is like the unfolding of a flower. My son is a seed that was planted and has sprouted. I long to see the flower that he blossoms into. At that very moment it occurred to me that my son has been waiting for me to blossom! He has grown with me from shedding my selfish ways into taking ownership of being a parent and not just any parent, but one who advocates for him.
I don’t usually run in the mornings, I usually walk and meditate. Today was different; this morning was filled with mosquitoes outside and I didn’t want to have a miserable experience, I wanted to enjoy. As I was running I was thanking myself, my body, God for the capability to run. I used to run anywhere from 2 to 4 miles per day. It was my way of releasing the day.
When I first met my husband he ran seven to ten miles a day. As simple as this thought may sound, it was rather empowering:
When my husband and I ran together he slowed down because he was a faster runner and he could do the seven to ten miles. He was never resentful that I couldn’t keep his pace. He wanted to enjoy time with me so he ran at my pace. He never passed judgement thinking, “Wow, you’re too slow what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you keep up?” It was always about our time together enjoying each other wherever we were.
I realized, in today’s highly demanding society where everything is about getting it now, we are doing that exact thing to our children.
Special needs or not, we are demanding a lot of our children. We are demanding them to grow up sooner than they should. We are demanding that they have an understanding of our world instead of us understanding they are just adapting to their own and ours.
We need to take a step back and realize that our children are the seeds that we planted in the soil, our family. That we are the gardeners tending to them making sure that they get the proper fertilizer, learning. That the weather conditions don’t drown them out or wilt them, that they don’t lose themselves in society’s perspectives of who they are. That we prune them at the right time so that they become stronger for who they are meant to be not for who we want them to be.
We also need to recognize that we have a very symbiotic relationship with our children. That as we become better gardeners tending to our children, it is their beauty they reveal that brings us joy. As we revel and soak in their beauty, we share our tenderness and there is the reciprocation. It is a simple yet profound energy exchange.