The greatest thing our children give us

Spring 2010- blossom pathOne day a few weeks ago I had an amazing experience.  I hadn’t slept well- hadn’t done my usual pre-sleep writing, stayed up late, and had actually fallen asleep still wearing my jeans and underwire bra- and not even in my own bed, but in my older daughter’s as I read Alice In Wonderland to her.  Not my ideal rest circumstances.  I had a full load of thoughts in my head as well and clarity was not coming.  This is probably because I kept THINKING- stirring up those muddy waters, opening the door in the freezer aisle of my mind so that the view was obscured unless I either waited for it to clear or opened the door again.  So, naturally, I wasn’t getting what I’d call “quality rest”- after a night of disoriented half-waking and thinking periods, the sound of my husband getting ready for work in the morning woke me enough to get my eyes open.  I made the decision to go to the gym as scheduled, feeling both muddy and groggy.  As I headed to the shower after the gym, I noticed that  my younger daughter was sleeping in my bed- she had been in her own bed when I first got home and it was clear she had fallen asleep in much the same way I did (except for the jeans and the bra).  She was curled up in a corner of her bed surrounded by books and toys, with her lamp still on.  She must have wandered into my bed while I was outside watering plants.    

I love watching my kids sleep.  Don’t we all?  So I looked at my no-longer-tiny baby girl (she’s 6, far from *a* baby, but still *my* baby).  I saw her peace, her sleepy smile when I hugged her, and I decided that the best thing for me in that very moment would be to curl up next to her for a few minutes, to be in her peaceful presence and take a few minutes of hibernation.  So I did.  I curled up next to this warm sleeping happy little person, blissing out on the joy that is our lives.  Then it hit me.  Clarity.  Like a sudden burst of light, there it was.  And it was beautiful.  So I had to get up and write about it- because my life at this point in time is all about writing from that same place of peace and clarity and absolute love for my life, my family and for all the families out there finding their own way. 

But I also needed to write because this was, for me, a prime illustration of how our children can be our guides, our teachers, our gurus.  At that moment my youngest child was bodhisattva, an enlightened being able to transfer peace and joy simply by her existence and presence.  At this moment, as in all moments, she was truth (coincidentally, her name means “truth”).  As much as we lead our families as parents- through our actions and the tone we set (notice also that my girl’s sleep situation that night reflected my own), it’s also important to recognize when our children are leading us to better places and to accept that they are here to teach us about what we’ve forgotten.  As human adults we are experienced and fairly adept at the practicalities of life in ways newer humans often are not- we can walk and talk (some of us can even chew gum at the same time!), we can think and plan and rationalize and use logic.  All useful things.  But those newer humans?  They haven’t forgotten who they are, that they are whole, that they are an important part of the greater universe and the most important part of their own smaller universe.  They simply radiate this, at all times I think, but sometimes it’s harder for us to see from a place of limiting thoughts.  We feel it when they’re sleeping, though.  When we’re tired, distracted and lost in muddy thoughts, or just let our guard down we’re able to see and feel and experience this.  My goal is to see and feel this at all times, so that I can reflect it back to them in the moments they are overwhelmed in their thoughts- stomping, screaming in frustration, stuck in indecision, sad, impatient or bored.  Because this is what was given to me that morning- a reflection of the peace that is my own true self. 

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2 Comments to “The greatest thing our children give us”

  1. I haven’t experienced this as a mother, since I have no children, but I have experienced it with my own younger siblings and certainly with my precious nieces and nephews in recent years–the bliss that they radiate from being so close to Source.

  2. “freezer aisle of my mind” I have experienced this! Closing the freezer door so that the fog will clear enough to let me see in again. Ah yes. I am so avid to look that I fling the door wide to gaze, must close, then I can’t see. Impatience. This is a wonderful image and something for me to ponder.

    I adore sleeping with my children. Though it rarely happens now (14 and 17). But for many, many years we were family bed (room) people. Peace. Yes.

    I’m so glad for you that you have this happy family. You offer the best gift to the world in joyfully drinking this up…until you are so full that your cup simply runs over.

    Thank you for telling this story. Underwire bra and all.

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