On Friday, we invoke the muse of motherhood to shine her light of inspiration upon.
When Tulsi was 18 months old, we were attending a weekly Shabbat celebration at the Lama Foundation. There were around fifty people gathered for the blessing. At one point, Tulsi got up from my lap and started wandering around, talking in her language a bit loud, twirling, and enchanting (or distracting?) people. I remember not knowing what to do…try to coax her back into my arms and suggest she nurse to ‘quiet’ her? I wondered what others were thinking. Were they annoyed and falling out of their prayer? As Tulsi and I locked eyes, I waved her back, hugged her and sat her down on my lap. But she didn’t want to sit. Almost immediately, Rabia, an elder and wild, beautiful, and loving spirit in the community, gasped, “Jenny! Don’t contain her! Let her be. She is perfect and being herself and free! This is her prayer!”
In the moment, my already unsure and not-always-confindent-mama-self felt deflated. But after taking some deep breaths to cool my red cheeks, I felt freed — and supported — in honoring Tulsi on her path in finding herself.
Rabia has since left ‘this’ world but I want to thank her again. Rabia, I am grateful you spoke up in a moment when I nearly extinguished Tulsi’s light. Of course this was just one moment — and I still don’t always know what is appropriate — but I often think of you and that night. I pray Tulsi is always a free spirit like you were!
Last night, we went to Shabbat, and Tulsi was VERY excited to dance in the dome. We walked in early, and she danced and danced and danced. I loved watching her! When the ceremony started, she wanted to sit on my lap. She did get up and stomped joyfully across the wood planks to visit her friends but then came back. She was glowing and bright. When I whispered to her she could dance or go visit her friends again, she replied, “Mama, I’m deciding to sit and watch.” When the Shabbat wine cup was passed around, she closed her eyes, kissed the cup “putting her love in”, and passed it to her Papi saying, “Shabbat Shalom.”