One would think these words would evoke the feelings of warmth, joy and bliss, not to mention, promote the emotions of love, happiness and connectedness. Right? Well, not if they are delivered like a blow to the back of the head in the form of a “spiritual 2×4” from my 11-year-old daughter. Her timing was impeccable, at the end of an early morning rant, chock full of my expectations, during the tender commencement of a brand new day. That is EXACTLY what happened.
The day started like any other. The alarms went off, dogs were fed and taken out, tea put on, lunches made, all happening just the way things are expected to go. I head upstairs to make sure everyone is progressing toward getting out of the door on time. I find my 11-year-old daughter taking all of the time in the world to pick out just the right clothing. This goes on each morning for about 45 minutes, always has. “Tell her to pick out her clothing the night before,” you say? We have done that. “Give her 3 outfits to pick from so she has a defining choice,” you say? We have done that. “Give her more time in the morning,” you say? Check and check, we have done that too. It is just who she is and has been this way since she was 18 months old.
In walk my expectations and fears. When straying from the present moment, we enter into the inner world of perceptions, anticipations, and expectations which all have a common denominator of fear. In this case, fear of being late, fear of my morning falling behind because of someone else’s behavior, fear of her being disappointed because she cannot put the perfect outfit together (evidence of audible huffing and puffing), fear of upsetting my Husband’s peaceful morning (he wakes up like an enlightened Monk every single day) with this ranting and raving. What if we made space for everyone’s experience? Allowing my daughter to entrench herself in her careful selection making sure she feels just right: Me, not reacting to the frustration that can sometimes be heard during this process. Allowing, allowing and more allowing while dropping the aversions, expectations, and most of all fears!
Sometimes it takes moments that stop you in your tracks to truly realize what is important. So as I am walking around upstairs lecturing from my soapbox, spouting the same words that she has heard over and over, she stops right in front of me and says “Good Morning Mom” and throws her arms around me (sound of very loud screeching breaks.) I melt right into her embrace in that hallway; taking in the warmth of her skin, the smell of her freshly washed hair, her beautiful spirit and her desire to start over.
It takes this precious moment, from one of my life’s greatest teachers, to realize what is truly important. In fact, the most important, perfect start to my day!
Smell the roses,
Hugs your kids,
Slow way down,