It is humbling to sit down to write with a card like Pearl in my hand. The journey of authenticity is one of the enduring reasons that we were called to blog about our experiences as mothers. We hoped to empower other women by keeping it real. We are not perfect. Thankfully, a good friend once assured me that the best mothers are the imperfect one’s who therefore can see their children as they truly are rather than as some projected ideal.
My children are well aware of my true nature. They witness my stellar moments and glow in my presence. They also are pulled down with me when I lose my footing. My little girl is tuned into how I express myself when I am frustrated and asks, “Why ‘shit’, Mama?” And, Haven, knowing the remorse that inevitably follows my baser moments, says to me, “Mama, you are going to be sorry.” With these words, my wee gurus remind me where my growth edge lies.
While I am not exactly proud of my foibles, I am grateful for their redemptive service. If I am not trying to sweep my missteps under the rug, I can look to them with joyful curiosity and begin peeling back the layers to reveal some new facet of my being. I can get a little neurotic when parenting at large gatherings? Hmm…what is that about? Performance anxiety?
This weekend I had yet another chance to practice my public parenting at the wedding of a dear friend. Midway through the three-day, mostly adult gathering, I was not sure I would make it to the end. I felt raw and exposed as a mama. It was the bride who reminded me how standing in our truth is the only way forward. She and her husband faced the seemingly impossible task of weaving together all the disparate strands of their lives. As two people who are wholly and unashamedly themselves, they pulled it off with utter grace.
In the end, I too was able to relax enough to enjoy the event and again experience the freedom of being with people who are authentic. They invite me to be myself, no matter how scared or outrageous or eccentric. My now married-off friend attended my daughter’s birth, so she is definitely one who has seen my true colors. And, I feel blessed by a circle of friends who show up with the beautiful truth of who they are, and love me because of my quirks as well as my gifts.
photo courtesy of Erin Kott
Yet, I say it is our children who are the best role models of authentic being. They have not learned to be anything but one of a kind. I pray that I can show Haven and Afton how this is enough; how they are each a pearl beyond price. What are you and your children teaching one another about true nature?