This morning the mirror reminded me that my reflection is changing. My face is fuller. My brow now traced with lines growing deep. And with it, the face of a little girl falling further and further away.
My mirror has forced my introduction to time. The awareness that there is a clock ticking somewhere, and that aging will not pass me over.
Such a raw truth to be reminded of, that this collection of moments we live in are so fragile and flutter so quickly into vapor. That nothing that truly matters is tangible and everything that matters is temporary in this life we live.
Yet the legacy of time is our memories. Experiences frozen, refusing to age with us. They leave lasting joys and hurts, emotional scars and lessons.
What memories have I chosen to hold on to? I wonder. And why? How have they shaped me and molded the lens of which I see the world today? What thoughts, words, behaviors do I hold on to now that form the memories yet to come?
And then it hit me, the memories that my daughter will hold in her heart, her mind, her soul, have yet to be written. And one thing time has given me is the opportunity to discipline myself, so when those frozen moments latch on to her that involve her mama, they will be of a woman prepared to leave lasting lessons in her soul.
Who will I let parent my child? What parts of myself will I choose to nourish and give strength to that will, in result, work as a guide for my little girl?
So I take a breath. I have to breathe before lifting that weight on my shoulders. What a big task that will be. I have so many parts to myself, not all of them pretty. And parenting, much less, living life from my center, most inner peaceful self, all the time quite frankly sounds exhausting.
How will I be centered when she’s running late for school after I’ve told her ten times that we are leaving in five minutes? How do I remain calm when she screams “I hate you!” and slams the door for the first time after a punishment? How do I stay at peace when I watch her heading towards heartbreak and am helpless to stop it?
How do I model peace when really I have anger? How do I model wisdom when really I feel lost? Where do I turn to for strength to be her rock, when all I feel is weak?
Though I feel so far, too far, from the answers to those questions, perhaps there is truth in the the act towards obtaining them. All I can do, is practice.
And man, how lucky are we that the world is currently giving us so many opportunities to practice. Modeling peace, when terrorism evokes fear. Striving for wisdom during times of grief as more children, fathers and mothers die from senseless acts of hate. Acting out kindness in the face of meaness.
This is not a small task I ask of myself. But, I am now a parent, I must set the bar higher.
So I remind myself, who will I let raise my child? And because I am human, I must recommit myself every day to nourishing my inner, greatest good. Because the truth is the hurts we see today, the injustices that riddle the news and our generation, are on the backs of fleeting moments. They too will pass. Yet how we respond to them before the eyes of our children, will last forever.