Today Freya started school. At Montessori the children enter environments,not classrooms, so Freya has joined Yumi a 3-6 year old space. She is ready, and I guess I must be too. Although I bring a whole world of grown up concepts to the basket. Things like, who am I now? Should I have another baby? (an indulgent way of avoiding myself in this instance) What do I do now? (there is so much I don’t even know why i would ask this?) Is it all downhill from here? ( I don’t know what that means but the words continue to float through my head). And part of me feels like I am close to dying. Having children at home somehow in my mind meant I was young, that I didn’t really have to think about this finite life we are all living. It was a cushion that softened somehow the truth that this is a one way road that ends at some point which is utterly and totally out of my control.
Society seems to build this huge world of ideas around children starting school and the stark reality that once they begin, it will never be the same again. It is like a silent subscription service we all have to the milestones and doorways that we must pass through. Of course this is truthful, life does change at these gateways. And I wonder, what else is true?
What I have come to is this. While those major doorways we all know of and speak of do impact our lives forever, for me it is actually the little everyday ones that make the most difference. The seemingly insignificant moments I choose kindness, gentleness, compassion. What I have really been reflecting on over the past month leading up to Freya starting school is do I trust myself as a mum? Have I done enough? is she happy? To be honest when I dropped her at school this morning what I was really asking myself was “If this was the last time i got to see her, have I given enough?”. All big questions…
And for me they lead to guilt and shame. These two friends tap dance in with all their flashy style and for a time I lose myself in their invitations. How many times have I lost my patience and got angry, raised my voice, ignored her in a time of need, god forbid I even smacked her one day when I had NOTHING else left….. at this point my chest and tummy is so tight its hard to breathe…. my body takes over and that deep breath I just took, well it begins the process of airing the musty staleness of my inadequacies. Cause you know what, for all my failings as a mama, I love. I so holy fully love with my whole being that I could swallow the world before it knew what was coming. My devotion to my children is palpable, I have the strength of a lioness and at the same time I am willing to be the naked struggling fool time and time again if that is what it takes to open to life’s truest heart.
It has been a big week for me, I had my skin check on Monday and need to have two more moles off tomorrow. I dread going, I get scared and at the same time know it is necessary to care deeply for myself if I want to hang around and watch my girls grow. The past few days have been filled with that delicate yet intoxicating mixture of dancing with my fears around dying and resting in the deep gratitude I have for my life. I truly love every aspect of it, there is nothing I want for. I am happy.
On the weekend I caught up with a girlfriend who recently lost her mum to cancer and she shared some really powerful wisdom with me. She spoke of the beauty of death, of how truly sacred and special it is and how as a society we miss out on so much of what it has to offer. And she shared that for her, she felt her mum had given her everything she needed, that she now deeply trusted herself as a woman and mother, that her mother had been an incredible mum and guided her to trust herself right until she died.
What a gift, to leave a daughter who above all trusted in her own blessings, wisdom and goodness.
It is inevitable we will all have to let go of our precious ones. It is my greatest hope that when my turn comes to die, my girls can stand strong and yielding in themselves, that they understand I have given them all that I can and that I deeply trust them and their unique ways of travelling this adventure of life. That above all they know they are loved and never alone.
When I kissed Freya at the door this morning, I guess what i was really saying was thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to love you, to grow alongside you and to let go of you. I can hear my heart gently whispering “Enjoy yourself precious one, this is a safe beautiful place and while this life is short, it wants nothing more than to serve you.
It feels like time for tea, so I’m off to put the kettle on and choose a beautiful cup to drink from. Thank you for meandering with me along this ever winding path.
With love from my heart xox