I’ve talked often about not wanting balance in my life a countless times. And how I would rather learn how to live gracefully with the Tension. (And by tension, I don’t mean stress and chaos. But the kind of tension required on a string of an instrument to make a pitch-perfect note. The right kind and the right amount of pressure applied at the right time.) And one of those Tensions I’m discovering these days is the Tension between growing up and keeping childlike.
To become a parent is to grow up like a million times over. We plunge into this world of Caring For Another Human Being all the while learning to keep our sanity and joy intact. If THIS does not mature us, I don’t know what else will. But often, we get so hung up in being responsible and taking care of our children and protecting them and teaching them all sorts of wonderful things that we forget the other side of the Tension.
In which we reconnect with our curiosity and playfulness and wonder. In which we see the world through our children. In which we slow down considerably and honor our little people by learning from them and becoming like them sometimes. In which messiness and exploration and monotonous repetition are the awesome stuff that life is made of. In which we learn to go back to the simple and the true: that time holds still when you are fully present and in the moment, as your child experiences life this way every single minute of the day.
The ability to know which to way to go and when is an art I want to master. Some days I keep childlike when I ought to be growing up and vice versa. But oh, this is the real challenge of motherhood, isn’t it? May we persist and learn through it well.
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