Sunday, August 07, 2011

Moving forward

It's easy in the day to day organised chaos of our lives to overlook the small things. I'm very guilty of this. We're so busy getting through each day, ticking the multitude of tasks off our mental lists, rushing from A to B and back again, that sometimes we don't even SEE each other anymore.

So it's beautiful when something stops me in my tracks and forces me to focus on my children and see them clearly.

I had such a day last week. Nothing ordinary day. When we got into the car that morning Marianna got in, did up her own seat belt and closed the car door. She's never done that before. It gave me a little jolt; she's growing up. Of course she's growing up but I'm usually too busy to notice. It's so easy to fall into the trap of racing through each day, reacting to the negatives (with my own negatives), putting out the grass fires, meeting my family's daily needs but not really connecting.

The small act of doing up her own seatbelt made me look at my daughter, think about her as the little person she is and who she is becoming. She might drive me to drink most days but she is so bright, so feisty, so brave. She is no pushover and hopefully never will be. She is a little firecracker who will go so very far if she learns to harness her emotions.

That same day Will told me he wanted a mohawk. My instant (unsaid) reaction was "no way". ... and then I remembered who I used to be and what I used to dream about my own future and the biggest wave of pride flooded through me. My baby boy, my fragile, vulnerable boy, who I spent so long worrying about...would he ever walk, would he ever talk... is bravely and confidently facing high school next year and wanting a mohawk.

Before our eyes he is discovering who he is, developing a mind of his own, separating from us, becoming his own person. It is scary for me, there's no doubt about that that. But there's also a huge sense of pride and gratitude and relief. How far he's come!

Almost thirty years ago I dreamed about my very own punk baby and now I have one, sort of. Mohawks are hum drum these days, more Becks than Sid Vicious. But that's ok, it's not the haircut that's the real point. It's what his request represents.

Above all else a parent's job is to help their children become independent in the world, to find themselves and their place. Last week I had a few glimpses of my children's progress along the long and difficult road to adulthood. I don't know what the future holds but I'm filled with optimism and hope and a terrifying amount of love for the little people whose lives have been entrusted to my dubious care.

Today seat belts and mohawks, tomorrow the world.


Claire said...

Mohawk today . . body piercing and tattoos tomorrow - no doubt the tats will say "I love my Mum"!!

Julia said...

Oh my god I LOVE this! Being present is so important. Love you x

hezu said...

it was nice.. :O)