I took KG to a birthday party this afternoon. KG is relatively shy compared to her brother - but not entirely so. She is very courageous on the inside and often in surprising ways. She can talk to a tall and hefty man with absolutely no fear or hesitation if she is in her comfort zone, say if she knows he is a guest visiting our house. But if she feels like she is being noticed in a crowd she will be quiet. At the party today, she wanted to play with a girl two years older than her. But that girl already was good friends with another girl who was KG's age. KG kept running with them, behind them, was watching them, playing with them when she got the chance. But over all it was clear she was tagging along more than being included actively. I had to stand away and watch it happen. This was for her to experience on her own. When the two girls decided to just lie down on the grass with their parents, KG who is always ready for some physical activity said to me, why do they want to just sit there? I want to play with them. I told her I would play with her if she wanted to but I cannot force them to play. She did not want to play with me. But she was OK with the situation. It was my heart that felt a tug. Did she feel left out? Why is she not more outgoing like those girls? Will she have friends when she starts KG? Will she be a lonely teenager? Will she then try to do the wrong things to please her friends so she can fit in?! Projecting years into the future in just two seconds of seeing her sitting bored on the grass.
I guess it is that tug you feel each time your child experiences some seemingly difficult situation that reminds you that you are a mom. You want the absolute best for your child without a doubt. You want to help but you have to hold back. And there you grow as a person and a mother. Being able to let go. Being able to let them grow. Experience the world. Within safe territory. To find that balance between protecting them and letting them be.
The other day, someone told me that they felt it would be better not to purchase a house where an old couple had lived until then and the old lady had died just a few days earlier. They felt it was not such an auspicious or blessed place after all. My perspective, after seeing some unfortunate situations amongst friends or family where children are left behind without a mother or a father when a relatively young parent passes away, has completely changed. I felt they were a blessed couple to have lived that long in good health in their own home for all those years and to have been there for their children. Any adult who has had the privilege of being there for their children and getting them through up to adulthood is truly blessed. Reading about such situations completely breaks my heart. But it is also a reminder to keep perspective and sift out the trivialities of every day life and feeling blessed for having all that is going well in life.
Wishing you all a very happy mother's day!