My daughter Mia turned 13 yesterday. A milestone in any parents eyes. She is a stunning beauty with a big heart, a feisty spirit, a haunting singing voice and a clever (and at times, evil) sense of humour.
The love that she has for her friends, and especially for her father is sentimental and sweet and kind. At her baptism, when the priest asked each parent what they would like to wish for their baby child, I simply answered, “I wish for my daughter to be kind.”
I can’t say that Mia and I are particularly close. We often joke about how incredibly not close we are. We are the complete opposite to one another. She runs on the template of conformity. Of fitting into societal norms. She cares very deeply about what other people think of her. I, on the other hand, have always been an outliar. I am more comfortable standing on the outskirts. Throw me amongst the masses and I am in pain.
Yesterday, in the late afternoon, I bumped into a couple of Mia’s close friends at the beach as I was walking the dog. They stopped to say hello. I asked them where Mia was. They laughed. My daughter had run away as soon as she saw me. She hid behind the bushes instead.
Mia has always found me embarrassing. It frustrates her that I am not like the other mums that she has grown to know. “Why do you have to be so fricken Spiritual Mum?” “Why do you have to wear that Mum?” “Why can’t you just shut up Mum?” “Why can’t you be like the other mums Mum?”
I giggle every time.
On the rare occasion when I am with the school mums, I feel her watching me and I see her in my periphery, twitching like a nervous bird, fearful that I will misbehave or speak out of place or express yet another unconventional view.
I giggle every time.
My daughter has been one of my greatest teachers. She teaches me compassion. She teaches me how to be more social with those outside of my inner circle. She teaches me sweetness and song. She teaches me friendship. And while she can be a brute at times, she also teaches me gentleness.
Mia teaches me what is possible.
Truth be known, she came into this world at a time when I was lost. When I was experiencing the darkest nights of my soul. I know that she came into this world to accelerate my awakening. I named her Mia Angel — ‘My Angel’ who came to save me in the nick of time.
And while we are polar opposites in personality, we share the same DNA. She is still so young. It is my job to simply hold her in this space. I relish in baring witness to her evolution and development. This is the ultimate privilege.
I never impose upon her my views and my values. It won’t work. Not at this age. While it is my job to keep her safe from harm, I will not deny her the pain that comes embedded inside the lessons that she must have in life in order to grow. How can she build courage, resilience and grit otherwise if I am to save her from the obstacles that she must overcome? I am very comfortable standing on the outskirts and observing from a higher mind.
Yes, my girl will have her heart broken. She will be betrayed by friends. She will be disillusioned by society. And she will continue to question herself and the meaning of her life over and over and over again. I witness her strong spirit and I know she will always overcome.
And because we share the same DNA, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the day will come when she will discover her truth and she will realise that conformity doesn’t work and worrying about what people think doesn’t work and playing victim doesn’t work and complaining doesn’t work and living only to please others doesn’t work. She will realise that her truth, her joy, her peace and her happiness can only be found internally and not externally.
I am guessing that it won’t be until she becomes an adult, when she has learned the lessons of life, that she will realise that only she alone can find her ‘true home’ – that place deep inside herself to where her true strength lies.
And on that day, she will finally come to understand her Mama; and when she does, she will find me waiting patiently on the outskirts to show her the way.
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